Being a 'not-quite-Buddhist theist'

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Buddhism is a tradition that set itself decidedly against theism, with the development of complex arguments against the existence of God. I propose that the metaphysical conclusions reached by some schools in the Mahayana tradition present a vision of reality that, with some apparently small modification, would ground an argument for the existence of God. This argument involves explanation in terms of natures rather than causal agency. Yet I conclude not only that the Buddhist becomes a theist in embracing such explanations as legitimate, but also ipso facto abandons their metaphysical project and ceases to be a Buddhist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 14
Number of pages14
JournalReligious Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Oct 2021


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