2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Fundamental Tranformation of Religion, or, How Buddhism and Christianity Must Change the World
Chris S. Nation
Dr. David Murphy, Faculty Mentor

The great Zen scholar Masao Abe's article, "Kenotic God and Dynamic Sunyata" offers a redefinition of the traditional understanding of the crucifixion of Jesus through a Buddhist interpretation of the Christ hymn found in Philippians 2:5-11. His article states that the fundamental nature of God is found in this passage, that is, a thoroughgoing action of self-emptying. In response to this essay, and Abe's formula of self-denial, [God is not God, therefore God is truly God] Jurgen Moltmann's essay, "God is Unselfish Love," rejects the notion that the kenotic God can be understood in the Buddhist context that Abe offers. Both scholars have aims at defeating the concept of dualism in human interaction, but they arrive here in very different ways, with distinct differences. Each, in its own proper religious context, serves as the most vital shift of understanding for humankind in relation to the world today.

Keywords: kenosis, Sunyata, Abe, Moltmann, self-emptying, surrender, love, dualism

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 54-4
Location: VH 1212
Time: 3:30

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