the file of forgotten blog posts

The frequency and quantity of posts here at the buddha is my dj certainly fluctuates over time. But I feel as though I have written considerably less since September than I have in the past. No. Wait. Check that. I’ve written a ton; what I haven’t done is post any of it.

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announcement: prapañca

So this year I am getting involved in a new project, once the hectic first couple of months of the new year settle down (after seminars, classes, conferences, vacation). It’s a project I’m feeling extremely optimistic about, one that touches on a topic near and dear to my heart, and one that I hope will be of value to the larger Buddhist community.

Along with the help of some friends, we’re launching Prapañca, a quarterly, online Buddhist journal featuring both original reporting and opinion pieces on a wide variety of Buddhist topics, but also fiction, poetry, and the arts. The co-founders/editors and I are passionate not only about bringing a wide diversity of Buddhist voices to our future readers, we’re also passionate about creating a venue for writers of Buddhist fiction and poetry to showcase their work.

The journal is set to go live in June of 2010. I recognize that a more than three-month lag between announcement and launch is a near eternity in Internet time, but I wanted to make this announcement now as a way to solicit contributions. We’re taking this project seriously, which means that we want to create something of real value, something of substance, and that means we want to give folks plenty of time to write their hearts out before the official launch.

Please check out the submission guidelines here and contact us with any questions, with your ideas, with your feedback, with offers of help. We’re all ears!

And of course there will be occasional updates leading up to the launch. We’ve set up a Twitter account and Facebook page for just this reason. Feel free to follow, become a fan, etc., etc., and stay tuned for further announcements.

contexts

I was in a board meeting yesterday for a committee at the GTU (to protect the innocent, I’ll leave out the name of said committee) during which one of the members mentioned something about contextual theology. Now, the GTU is by design an interdisciplinary and multi-faith institution, which means that folks routinely drop discipline-specific terms in ways that folks from their same discipline understand while leaving others, like me, sort of scratching our heads. Not that I’m bothered by that; each of us uses language in this contextually specific way. Were I to say “Critical Buddhism” at a meeting of the International Association Buddhist Studies, I’m sure the folks the room would immediately get the reference while, sitting here, decontextualized in this paragraph, it may not be immediately clear to others.

But what this person said about contextual theology struck me, so I thought I’d do some quick digging. Unfortunately, there’s no Wikipedia page about it (which may mean that it doesn’t really exist), and the few articles that did pop up in my one-and-only Google search were pretty specific to a Christian theological context and, as a result, were either over my head or not interesting enough for me to really want to spend the afternoon doing any further research. If I’m going to spend an afternoon doing further research, chances are it’s gonna have the word “Buddhism” in it!