5 Answers

  1. No, because Theravada uses more ancient teachings (Pali baskets) and the practice itself is closer to the original ones than in Tibetan or Japanese directions.�

    But the problem is that the Buddhist teaching cannot be compared with Christianity, Mithraism, Hinduism, etc., because we are not talking about beliefs, models, cultural metaphors that need to be accepted as is. The Buddha was not concerned with the world order and was not God or his prophet. Buddha is an educator, a scholar in a very specific field: how suffering occurs and how to get rid of it.

  2. I would generally avoid comparing Buddhist Chariots with trends in Christianity )) In Buddhism itself, you can find such a comparison: Theravada-the basis, Mahayana-the walls, Vajrayana-the roof. This is not the only comparison, but it conveys the essence in a certain sense.

  3. In the 1970s, the scholar G Gananath Obeyesekere coined the term “Protestant Buddhism”, which describes the processes that took place in Sri Lanka in the 19th century: the opposition of Buddhists to Christian missionaries and, in general, an attempt to modernize Buddhism. In this case, it is even more about the relationship between Buddhism and politics than about religion.�
    In the 19th century, there were ideas that a lay person should take care of achieving nirvana and generally support Buddhism in society, and not just worship monks, because they are monks and wear special clothing. Reducing the role of the sangha and monks and the responsibility of everyone for their own personal salvation – this is Protestantism.
    In general, to speak of Theravada as Protestantism, in my opinion, is not correct. First, similar things can be found in other branches of Buddhism. Second, defining Buddhism through Christianity is not the best way to understand it.

  4. Well, yes, if we use analogies with Christianity, then Theravada is Orthodoxy and Catholicism in one person, Mahayana is ordinary Protestants, such as Lutherans or Calvinists, and Tibetan Buddhism is Mormons 🙂

  5. Exactly the opposite. Theravada is the oldest branch, with a minimum of additions to the actual directly transmitted teachings of the Buddha. “Protestantism” is rather Mahayana, a later branch, reformed, with Bodhisattvas and other ideas that were not directly present in the Buddha.

    So if you really want analogies with Christianity, then Theravada is Orthodoxy.

    But it should be borne in mind that, since Buddhism does not have the characteristic rejection of “sects” for Christianity, there are many of them in Buddhism, including in Theravada, various “reformed” ones constantly appear (while remaining quite in line with Theravada as the main branch), such as, for example, some Dhammakaya, in fact, the photo to the question you have just from Wat Phra Dhammakaya, their main, and very spectacular temple near Bangkok.

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