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( 37 ) (2013), pp.117-51 (
KCI ) Ilkwaen Chung, Beyond Religious Pluralism. A Critical Evaluation of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, Korea Reformed Theology 37 (Korea Reformed Theological Society), 2013, pp. 11751 (in Korean)

Beyond Religious Pluralism


- A Critical Evaluation of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue -

Ilkwaen Chung (Handong Global University)

Abstract
The emerging multireligious societies are characterized by a new intensity of interreligious encounter with all its constructive and destructive potentials. For the understanding of the complexities in the encounter of different religions, the more complex and dramatic hermeneutic for the interreligious dialog is necessary. The similarity between Christ and Bodhisattva was commonly pointed out in the Buddhist Christian studies. The image of Jesus suggests that of a bodhisattva, the embodiment of selfless compassion for sentient beings. Whereas bodhisattvas are free of the attachment to self owing to their

insight into the Emptiness of persons and all things, Jesus was, according to Keel, free of preoccupation with himself owing to his complete trust in the God of unconditional love. Some Buddhists believe Jesus Christ was a bodhisattva. But the exceptional breaking and transgression of Bodhisattva in the path of initiation can be understood as the staged crimes and methodical transgression of taboos on the side of the reconciliatory victims. The initiatory vows of Bodhisattva involve exceptional breaking of basic moral or disciplinary precepts in order to accomplish a higher aim. These examples of exceptional licence to break the basic rules of morality in special cases of alturistic motivation is to be read from the perspective of genetic mechanism of surrogate victim. Oedipus the surrogate victim is unique in at least one respect: he alone is guilty of patricide and incest. He is presented as a monstrous exception to the general rule of mankind; he resembles nobody, and nobody resembles him. Faure has pointed out the ideology of transgression and the apparent transgression of the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and saints. Transgression constitutes a determining hagiographical motif in East Asian Buddhist chronicles. There are two basic types of antinomianism: a naturalist or spontaneist tendency, according to which the saints hubris places him above ordinary moral rules as in the case of Tantric or Chan madmen; and a systematic ritual inversion of the rule. In the course of Westernization, Zen has been theologized, psychologized, and systematized. Reinterpretation of Zen Buddhism in the sense of Western existential philosophy and very desperate attempt to translate Zen in the categories of contemporary European philosophy can be well illuminated by Girards mimetic hermeneutics, especially more dynamic and complex process of intercultural mimesis. The resemblance between the Western existentialist and Buddhism has been pointed out. Both Buddhism and the Western existentialism are said to focus attention on tragedy and anxiety. But so called Buddhist existential philosophy of (nothingness and emptiness) represents originally and mostly the anthropologically very specific existence of sacred and liminal world renouncer. The originally contextual meaning of the the Buddhist nothingness and emptiness should be comprehended within the social anthropological context of worldrenouncers worldnegating dharma. There is only a superficial similarity between forest worldrenouncers sacrificial meditation on essential impermanence or finitude of the phenomenal world and western existential philosophy. Key words: Religious pluralism, R. Girard, Christ and Bodhisattva, Kyoto School, fascism.