Roman Catholic religions Buddhism

Buddhism was introduced to the United States near the beginning of the 20th century, but over the past 30 years or so, Buddhism has crept into our cultural consciousness. For some it is known as having been co-opted into a marketing campaign (such as to promote the Zen Micro MP3 player), for others as a cause for Hollywood celebrities, for still others a trend in architectural design, etc.

But for many others—approximately one million U.S. believers among 380 million worldwide who profess to be Buddhists rather than merely being spiritually or creatively influenced by its philosophies—it is a religion or deeply felt philosophy for both living and bringing peace to our troubled world.

The mountain gate to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, California.

I’ve gained some familiarity with Buddhism or Buddhist influences over the years. I have been acquainted with several individuals, including one lapsed Catholic and one agnostic, who were attracted to different variations of Buddhism (there are three prevalent in the United States, most familiarly Zen and Tibetan), and I have had some interesting discussions on the relative merits of Buddhism and whether any portions of it can be compatible with Catholicism.

My other encounters have been both academic and practical. I learned about Buddhism in both high school and college (for apologetic purposes). But I’ve also had a long-term fascination with design principles, marketing, and how these relate to business practices. In the course of investigating these subjects, you’d be surprised at how much Buddhist influence pops up, particularly in (but by no means limited) to the wellness industry.

The most recent item to pique my interest in Buddhism and its related phenomena was a December 2005 article in National Geographic that briefly describes Buddhism, its general principles, the demographics of its current adherents and the evolution and migration of its original varieties. In reading the article, I began to wonder if most Catholics know what Buddhism teaches and whether or not those teachings are compatible with Catholic beliefs.

What is Buddhism? Is it a philosophy or system of ethics like Confucianism, or a religion? Most importantly, does Buddhism or any of its practices lend anything to the practice of the Catholic faith?
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They are Atheists, though not “Materialists”. In fact many people question if Buddhism is a religion at all. (It is.

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Buddhism is a religion born in ancient India in which meditation is a central tenet.

Popular Q&A

What is the Roman Catholic religion?

Catholic Answer The Roman Catholic religion is the following of Jesus Christ and the worship of God. The term "Roman" is not found at all in the Catholic Church, much less in the Catechism, it is a term that has come into use since the protestant revolt. The term "Catholic" is used, but the usual term is just "the Church" as this implies the Church that was founded by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and is still led by them.
Roman Catholic
from A Catholic Dictionary, edited by Donald Attwater, Second edition, revised 1957

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