Buddhists and Others

Shrinivas Tilak shrinivast at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 14 13:23:27 UTC 2000

    In recent exchanges over the theme of "Buddhists and Others" many
contributors were greatly concerned to prove why and how Buddhism and
Buddhists have cultivated their own identity and tradition which are quite
disticnt from those of others (especially Hinduism and Hindus).
    But, as Ven. Thera tried to explain, this stance goes against the
Buddhist spirit of inclusiveness. Extending the insight of Max Weber, Masao
Abe in "Buddhism" (in Our Religions edited by Arvind Sharma 1993: 129) has
suggested that Buddhism is an emissary type of religion (as opposed to the
promissory or commissary type of missionary activity represented by
Christianity and Islam respectively).
    Emissary missionary activity involves establishing a presence while
minimizing the differences between one's own religion and the religion one
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