After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age by Stephen Batchelor (Author)


Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. What does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts?

Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha’s teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five members of the Buddha’s inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening whose long survival is due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.

This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today’s globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha’s vision of human flourishing.


Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions. He has translated Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and is the author of Alone with Others, The Faith to Doubt, The Tibet Guide, The Awakening of the West, Buddhism without Beliefs, and Verses from the Center. He is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, a guiding teacher at Gaia House Retreat Centre, and cofounder of Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Inquiry in Devon, England. He lives in southwest France and lectures and conducts meditation retreats worldwide.

Look Inside

Stephen Batchelor – Interview at the retreat in Hamburg 2015

Published on Aug 9, 2015

Stephen Batchelor is a British author, teacher, and scholar, writing books and articles on Buddhist topics and leading meditation retreats throughout the world. He is a noted proponent of agnostic or secular Buddhism.

The first part of the interview is about why to ” reinvent ” Buddhism new in modernity ?
Second part : are psychedelic drugs useful?
I love his teachings and his fresh and its critical way to teach.

Questions :
what means reinventing?
do you like Ken Wilber?
are psychedelic drugs useful?
What is your next book project?

Stephen Batchelor – Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age

Published on Jun 10, 2015
A talk by dharma scholar and author Stephen Batchelor, in Cambridge (UK), June 2015, as part of Cambridge Day Retreats

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