Photo from Triratna News.
Jnanavaca, Chair of the London Buddhist Centre is attending a meeting today with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Buddhist leaders, at the Buddhist Society. The conversation will centre on the Archbishop’s response to two major Buddhist texts: the Loving Kindness Sutta of the Pali tradition, and the Heart Sutra of the Mahayana tradition.
Jnanavaca has asked me to be his unofficial Research Assistant, so I thought I’d prepare this news review of the past few months for him, and also share it with you, ahead of the meeting. It’s mainly taken from the Guardian.
15 October. Protesters occupy land in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral as part of a worldwide movement challenging the economic and political status quo.
27 October. The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, resigns in protest at plans to forcibly remove protesters from its steps, saying he could not support the possibility of “violence in the name of the church”.
31 October. The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral also resigns over the Occupy London protest, saying his position has become ‘untenable’.
3 November. Giles Fraser says that the Church risks becoming “the spiritual arm of the heritage industry”.
16 December. David Cameron declares that “Britain is a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so”, in a speech to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
25 December. The Queen’s Speech ends with a strong appeal to Christian values.
26 January. Alain de Botton publishes ‘Religion for Atheists’ and reveals plans for a ‘temple to atheism’ in heart of London.
10 February. Bideford Council ‘loses court battle over prayer sessions before meetings‘ in an case brought by the National Secular Society.
14 February. Muslim cabinet minister Lady Warsi visits the Vatican and calls to fight against “intolerant secularism” and “give faith a seat at the table” in the UK.
15 February. The Queen says “we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life. The concept of our established church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated.”
22 February. The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols – leader of the Catholic Church in England – says he doesn’t feel persecuted as a Christian in the UK.
23 February. The Archbishop of Canterbury debates with Richard Dawkins at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, with the Guardian declaring that there were “no knockout blows“.
28 February. Occupy London protesters evicted from St. Paul’s.
I don’t know if Jnanavaca will have a chance to speak at the meeting, let alone ask the Archbishop a question. Given the chance, though, what would you want to ask the Archbishop, against the backdrop above, if you were in Jnanavaca’s shoes?Share