NEWS AND VIEWS Edward L. Shirley St. Edward's University The annual meeting of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies met in Boston on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, 1999. This year's papers addressed the problems of consumerism from Buddhist and Christian perspectives. In the first session, Stephanie Kaza presented a paper in which she analyzed consumerism in light of Buddhist teachings. In her introduction, she offered a brief analysis of consumerist patterns in the first, third, and "fifth" worlds, paying special attention to the ecological impacts of consumerism, the formation of an ideology of consumerism, and the various players in the globalization of consumerism. In the second part of her paper, Stephanie offered an analysis of American "mall mentality" in light of the twelve links of codependent origination found in Buddhist teachings. One can enter the wheel at any point, and malls, advertising, and the entirety of consumeristic culture are designed to stimulate the birth of each of these links: malls are designed to engender craving, clinging, ignorance, and so forth. Because each link in the chain leads to the next, there ensues a "vicious cycle" from which it is difficult to escape. As one can enter
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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