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Claiming Our CallingsToward a New Understanding of Vocation in the Liberal Arts$
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Kaethe Schwehn and L. DeAne Lagerquist

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199341047

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341047.001.0001

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Meaningful Lives, Religious Pluralism, and the Case of the Bodhisattva

Meaningful Lives, Religious Pluralism, and the Case of the Bodhisattva

(p.93) 7 Meaningful Lives, Religious Pluralism, and the Case of the Bodhisattva
Claiming Our Callings

Barbara E. Reed

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the teaching of Buddhism in a liberal arts college as a means to encourage students of any or no religious tradition to reflect on the meaning of their lives in a religiously pluralistic society. Although it recognizes that Buddhism has no equivalent of the Christian theological term “vocation,” it recognizes that Buddhism similarly struggles with issues of meaning and value using terms such as “right livelihood.” The chapter considers the value of encountering a moral tradition, in this case one which teaches distinctively Buddhist ways of thinking about meaningful lives: the five precepts of Buddhist morality, the ideal of the Bodhisattva, the development of emotional virtues, and the practice of vipassana and metta meditation. Finally, it suggests that any moral tradition may function as a mirror in which students may clearly see their own lives and values in relationship to a global society.

Keywords:   Bodhisattva, Buddhism, five precepts, meditation, metta, religious pluralism, right livelihood, vipassana, virtues

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