I admit, I was pretty proud of that one.
That’s not what dualism is. Cartesian dualism is the idea that there are two fundamental, irreducible substances that make up the world: matter and mind (or spirit or whatever). We can distinguish between mental and physical phenomena, but that is a quite different thing.
This is a different movement tho, a recent shift rather than the postmodernism from the 80s.
Fun to see how many of the specific things that they are looking at are familiar topics that I wrote about ten years ago in White Bones Red Rot Black Snakes and elsewhere: the story of Hariti, translation of Chinese nuns’ biographies, the relationship of bodies to discrimination in Dhamma.
A major theme of that twitter thread is Buddhism, cultural appropriation, and racism. Without being snarky, I promise, there’s a genuine sense of dislocation when you see who is doing this work. These are the faces of their twitter.
(I was invited to an interfaith panel discussion on racism some time ago. I asked who else was on the panel. Turns out, literally every person was white. I recommended Ven Juewei, a Taiwanese nun, so that worked out, at least from the Buddhist point of view.)
But this speaks to what I alluded to in my question 2 above: Buddhists are still playing catchup. First we say, “we have to bend Buddhism to make it fit with modern times”, then it turns out, shocker, that we have simply encoded all of our biasses and prejudices into the Dhamma, then we have to work to try to dig ourselves out of that pit.
Why aren’t we challenging others, setting the agenda, stepping out in front of the dialogue and shaping it?
Just as one very obvious and critically important issue: we need a Buddhist academic critique of materialism and economic growth in the face of climate change. We’re talking about how bad racism is, but we’re not stopping the one thing that will decimate the lands and cultures and lives of people of color more than anything else in history.