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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 29 August 2011

Religious symbols can cause offence these days, it seems - whether it's a Christian cross over a work uniform or a Muslim woman's headcovering. But people seem to have no problem with statues of the Buddha in shops and garden centres. Secularists who are quick to pour scorn on Christianity and Islam often have a soft spot for his teachings. But is Buddhism as we experience it in the West, the genuine article? It may be one of the fastest growing religions in the West, but can it thrive apart from the cultural soil in which it took root?

Ernie Rea is joined in discussion by Nagapriya from the Buddhist Triratna Order, AniRinchen Khandro, a nun in the Tibetan tradition, and Will Buckingham, a lecturer at deMontfort University, Leicester who know describes himself as "Buddhish" rather than "Buddhist.".



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