Buddhism on pluralism & diversity


The relationship between religion and society: respect and recognition and the ways that
religious traditions view other religions and non-religious worldviews and their truth claims.
Responses to the challenges of pluralism and diversity:

Emphasis within Buddhism on the individual testing the teachings and staying true to experience,
even if that means following a path different to Buddhism (with reference to the Kalama Sutta v. 9 &
10 and Majjhima Nikaya 56.16 – the Buddha’s conversation with Upali).


The Buddha’s life was one of testing different paths through his own experience.

First he lived a life of luxury, but found that unsatisfying.

Then he tried being an ascetic, but also gave up that as he pushed it as far as possible but did not gain enlightenment.

This shows this importance of personal testing of spiritual paths by experience. 

In Mahayana Buddhism the
teachings are sometimes considered to be only provisional, different upaya (skilful means) to suit
different listeners. Many Buddhists would consider that there is good within all religions and they
should be respected (Edicts of Emperor Ashoka, Rock Edict NB 7 and Rock Edict NB 12