Religion: The Buddhist Corner

Imperturbable and serene, the ideal

man practices no virtue;

Self-possessed and dispassionate, he

commits no sin.

—Buddhist Sutra

Buddhism is one of the most pervasive of all religions, and theologically one of the most accommodating. In the 2,500 years since Gautama Buddha first preached his doctrines in India, they have spread over Asia like a billowing saffron robe. In the process, Buddhist doctrines have been porous enough to admit and blend with local beliefs, such as spirit-worship in Burma, Confucianism in China, and the ancestor worship of Japanese Shinto.

Bones—and the Atomic Age. To keep alive a sense of Buddhist unity, despite these local religious differences,...

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