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April 16, 2014


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"As a matter of fact, Zhuangzi influenced Chan in such a profound way that one cannot imagine what the Chan linguistic strategy would be without Zhuangzi’s imprint" (Youru Wang, Linguistic Strategies in Daoist Zhuangzi and Chan Buddhism: The Other Way of Speaking (New York: Routledge Courzon, 2003), 13).

With Protestantism, Christianity found its true form. Before that, it was still mixed with paganism and Greek philosophy (Neo-Platonism & Aristotle). With Protestantism, Christianity purified itself from these heterogenous elements.

Recently I've been researching Christianity very closely and I come to the conclusion that Reformed Christianity is the true form, especially in its Calvinist guise (yes, predestination has to be a part of it).

So I'm not sure you picked a good example! Protestantization does not mean secularization! As you know better than me, being an American, Protestantism even lead to Christian fundamentalism. Protestants can be more "old-skool" than even Catholics (which Catholic believes in Genesis literally? not the Catholics I've met, and I live in a Catholic country!)

I think Buddhism *already* had a Protestant movement, and it is *not* the "secular Buddhism" movement. It happened in Japan, with Shinran. It's startling how similar Shinran's path is to Luther's! Both left the religious establishment, both married, both stressed "sola fide" (faith alone). There are more similarities ... no monks, religion becomes for everyone who has faith ... and Monergism (stressing Other Power vs our own "good works / meditation"; in Christianity: primacy of God's Grace vs good works)

While I agree with your critique of Stephen Batchelor I think the Protestant analogy is not the best one.

These days I'm studying the Zhuangzi ... have you tried to penetrate into that text yet? Man, it's a challenge! It's harder than the sutras & Hegel combined. All the allusions, elipsis, tropes and metonymies ... but hands down the most beautiful book I've ever studied up close. No Indian or Jewish religious book matches it in my opinion! (Even the New Testament doesn't because it lacks humor and light-heartedness)

The roots of Zen are in Zhuangzi, no doubt.

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