Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Confession of a Buddhist Atheist Paperback – March 8, 2011
$0.86 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“A moving and thoughtful book that does not fear to challenge.”—The Guardian (U.K.)
“In this honest and serious book of self-examination and critical scrutiny, Stephen Batchelor adds the universe of Buddhism to the many fields in which received truth and blind faith are now giving way to ethical and scientific humanism, in which lies our only real hope.”—Christopher Hitchens
“[Batchelor] taps his committed thirty-eight-year personal Buddhist practice to inform the book’s sense of wisdom, clarity and insight. . . . An emotionally detailed and compelling account.”—The Huffington Post
About the Author
Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions and the author of books including Alone with Others, The Faith to Doubt, The Awakening of the West, Buddhism Without Beliefs, and Living with the Devil. He lives with his wife, Martine, in southwestern France and lectures and conducts meditation retreats throughout the world.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I had kept delaying to read this early book by Batchelor, on the theory that this early Batchelor book has been superseded in content by his more recent books.
In this book, Batchelor observes that we really know nothing about the Buddha's education, and how the Buddha came to arrive at the basis for his enlightenment. I have also always been conscious of this fact - but for me, this had never been a sine qua non for my attraction to and appreciation of the Buddhadharma..
Ironically, as a counterpoint, Batchelor's book provides us with the nature of Batchelor's own unique education and quest, of the Buddhadharma, which is compelling and very edifying.
In retrospect, I feel that Batchelor was very lucky to have been exposed to and ordained as a monk in Tibetan Buddhism, as his initial exposure to "Buddhism." GREAT DOUBT, GREAT AWAKENING! It's uncanny how "right view" Batchelor's instincts have been, during his quest.
One great revelation for me was this book's information about the Pali canon, and the unique biographical information contained therein about the Buddha, which is significantly different from the standard biographical information about the Buddha's early life that is universally publicized. This biographical information may be one reason why certain Buddhist scholars attach such significance to the Pali canon, in addition to the actual Pali texts containing the Buddhadharma.
"The autobiographical musings of a Westerner who first became a Tibetan monk, then a Korean Zen monk, and ended up as a secular Buddhist. This book is a very useful critique of the shortcomings of institutional and religious Buddhism. It, and his “Buddhism Without Beliefs,” enunciate an agnostic alternative to Buddhist religiosity that is well worth adopting. The author’s re-interpretation of the traditional story of the Buddha’s life is especially fascinating and helpful. There are many good reasons to read this book. It is an important work, and is very strongly recommended. But there is one important caveat: Batchelor’s disappointment and lack of personal fulfillment have led him to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Because he has not been able to achieve the ultimate goals of the Buddhadharma himself, he has seriously underestimated the validity and attainability of those goals. It does not occur to him that, not only have the Dharma teachings been grossly distorted through time, but so have the meditation practices that once led uncountable numbers to personal transformation and Awakening. A “Christian Atheist” is someone who accepts and values the teachings of Jesus, but doesn’t believe that Jesus is God or has the power of salvation. As a “Buddhist Atheist,” the author sees Buddha’s teachings as a valuable path to better living and social change, but not as a means to personal spiritual transformation or any transcendent Awakening. In the end, his disillusionment and cynicism show through quite clearly. This is a valuable, informative, entertaining and highly readable book, but despite the author’s seeming credentials, it is NOT authoritative on the subject of Buddhadharma."
Today he's happiest incorporating the Dhamma into his daily life as Gotama taught. Wonderful!