GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Turning the three wheels

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We wrap up our week of Buddhist sites with a fun vehicle:


Founded in 1990, Tricycle magazine sports a brisk style for western readers, with snappy writing and a sharp eye on social trends. Much of the content is for subscribers only, but there’s also plenty of free Web articles.

One article examines sports spirituality. Another analyzes the recent Religious Landscape Study — finding, among other things, that most American Buddhists are native born and college educated.

Another writer shudders at politics: “Traditional Buddhist images of hell seem all too familiar in a campaign year. Realms of ice and fire? Sounds like the New Hampshire and Arizona primaries. Demons, hungry ghosts, cursed spirits who hack at one another with iron claws? They’re all on Meet the Press.”

Nor does Tricycle gloss over Buddhist problems. One writer talks frankly about sexual misconduct even among sangha leaders. Another looks into a clash between Vietnamese Buddhists on how to deal with religious repression there.

Unfortunately, the articles have no print-friendly option. And many of the links to sound and video files don’t work.

Navigation can be tricky. There’s a mouseover menu, but when the menu options drop down, they often vanish before you can click them. Better to use the site map at the bottom of the homepage.

Tricycle has nice archives on Buddhist beliefs and practices. Especially readable is a short history of the faith. It even tells how Buddhism spread to places like Mongolia, and how it influenced western philosophers.


Written by Jim Davis

October 30, 2008 at 4:21 am

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