Recently hosted by Common Ground in Minneapolis, I posed this question then gave reasons why an unequivocal answer is not possible. Too often, religion has been used to foment violence or its talk of peace amounts to mere empty platitudes. Nevertheless, Ajahn Buddhadasa believed that the proper role of religion in the world — including Buddhism — is to serve peace in the world, rather than escape from it. For those who are skeptical about this possibility, I gave a few examples of real live religious peace workers. I then went on to explore what it would take for religion to more fully fulfill this role. Participants then added their comments and observations.
Note: For the purposes of this talk and its audience I used the word ‘religion’ with a broad meaning that includes mindfulness and insight approaches to ‘spirituality,’ aware that ‘religion’ is a sticking point for many who are drawn to such practice.
Many thanks to Common Ground’s staff and volunteers, especially those who prepared and provided this MP3. Thanks also to Mark Nunnberg, Common Ground’s guiding teacher.