The Bodhi College, and why early Buddhism?

Some well known scholars and practitioners of early Buddhism are starting up the Bodhi College in Europe, focusing on early Buddhism. The teachers include my old friend from my time in Thailand, Mark “Akincano” Weber.

Here’s a nice short essay by Letizia Baglioni giving some powerful reasons for why we study early Buddhist texts:

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I just recently watched a video with 3 out of the four founders of this institute from the “launch” last year. This was an interesting watch to hear their perspectives and the first time I’ve ever come across “Akincano”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj_qrRkVckQ

I’ve also perused their website, sounds very interesting and something I’d love to attend if it were closer to me.

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Yes, Stephen got in touch with me when they were starting out. I’m hoping that next time I’m in Europe I can visit.

Is there a link missing at the end of the sentence? The link in the body just goes to the list of teachers. Or am I missing something?

Woops, my bad. It’s fixed now, ta.

The link is now there now, but it looks to me like you intended them to be in reverse order… :frowning:

It really isn’t my morning … :confused:

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it is now… :slight_smile:

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I watched with interest this same video some months ago. I’d not “met” Akincano previously, and he is a compelling speaker; someone to watch.

My takeaway from the panel discussion was, in part gratitude for the forum, and concern that the occasional dismissal of important subjects like kamma and rebirth will creep into the Bodhi College. I’ve spent some time (many geeky hours) listening to Stephen Batchelor and John Peacock, and have always enjoyed their talks and the depth of their training; the debates with Ven. Sujato, and separately, with Ven. Brahmali, are must see classics. John Peacock brings a freshness and vitality to the story of the Dhamma’s origination relative to its cultural milieau. Both gentlemen are terribly interesting.

Yet, just as Prof. Peacock discusses in depth the radical, countercultural and revolutionary approach of the Buddha’s Dhamma in the midst of Vedic Brahmanism and Jainism, he dismisses the Buddha’s discussions of rebirth as simply a carryover byproduct of his time. In other words, the Buddha was a discerning and nuanced philosopher/genius, but rebirth was just a cultural tattoo that he mindlessly carried about. Stephen B suggests that the teachings on kamma and rebirth are simply unnecessary to a modern dharma, a dharma that he promotes in his books as being the new Buddhism for “our times.”

Is ‘Bodhi College’ a Trojan Horse for the watering down of the Dhamma and Vinaya, or will be it be a “college,” a place for open discussion and collegial debate about the Early Texts, their meaning, and their role in modern life?

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I don’t in general listen much to types like Batchelor, but I’ve always much preferred Peacock to Batchelor. I’ve not seen the video with him and Ajahn Brahmali, but not of Bhante Sujato debating him! that does sound like a must see.

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Ajahn Sujato: “if I was going to be persuaded by your position, I would need something with a little more meat on the bones. In a purely vegetarian sense, of course.” :smile:

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