Advayavada Buddhism


Secular Buddhism: Unitarianism in Buddhist Drag?

Richard K. Payne

In A Secular Age (p. 291), Charles Taylor argues that Unitarianism marks an important point in the development of what he calls the “impersonal order,” that is, seeing humans as existing in a universe that is ordered by factors that are both immanent (only determined by the universe itself, not by some transcendent) and impersonal (not having any of the qualities of personhood). The examples for this are the impersonal laws of physics, and the systems of ethics and laws that are immanent to the human social order and the benefits for “human flourishing” thereof. The contrast is, pretty obviously, the religious vision of what we may call traditional or conservative Christianity, with its transcendent and personal lawgiver who establishes the cosmic order to which we humans are to accord.

Taylor’s summary of “the defining theological beliefs of Unitarianism” read like the template upon which Secular Buddhism was formed. According…

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