My friend Eyal Aviv mentioned, even before my most recent round of replies, that he’d been teaching my correspondence with Evan Thompson in his classes and would like to have it all available in one place. I think that’s a great idea and I am obliging him here. I don’t know whether the correspondence will continue – that’s up to Thompson – but I think it’s already worth having an index post here for easy reference. I am listing all of the works that constitute this correspondence so far, in the order that they were published or posted. If there’s more to the correspondence, I can come back and update this post later. (So, I’m just putting this post up on Love of All Wisdom rather than the IPB so I don’t have to update it in multiple places.)

EDIT (27 Sep 2020): There has indeed been new round of correspondence since I first posted this index in June; we have agreed to close it with the final post today, so it should now be complete. I have added links to all of that new correspondence here. I have also added dates to each set of responses, in the hopes that that might make it easier to indicate which set one is speaking of (“Thompson’s April response”), (“Lele’s May-June replies”).

  1. Thompson began the discussion with his book, Why I Am Not A Buddhist (published Jan 2020).
  2. Lele‘s initial two-part review (Mar-Apr 2020):
    Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)
    Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (2)
  3. Thompson‘s long single-post response (Apr 2020):
    Clarifying Why I Am Not a Buddhist: A Response to Amod Lele
  4. Lele‘s eight-post reply (May-Jun 2020):
    i) On the challenging aspects of tradition
    ii) On being Buddhist and distinctively Buddhist
    iii) Grappling with impermanence
    iv) Is karma about why bad things happen to good people?
    v) The workings of karma, naturalized and otherwise
    vi) Bad things, good people, and eudaimonism
    vii) Naturalizing Buddhism and other traditions
    viii) Eudaimonist Buddhist modernism and the norm of authenticity
  5. Thompson‘s single-post followup (Jun 2020):
    Cherry Picking the Bodhi Tree: A Response to Lele
  6. Lele‘s seven-post followup reply (Jul-Aug 2020):
    i) Of shopping carts and cherry-picking
    ii) Karma: eschatology, theodicy, or eudaimonism?
    iii) Philosophical texts for philosophers
    iv) Karma in society
    v) What would Śāntideva do without rebirth?
    vi) Śāntideva’s passages on enemies and their context
    vii) Theodicy is not the core of karma
  7. Thompson‘s final response (Aug 2020):
    Losing the Thread: A Response to Lele
  8. Lele‘s two-post final response (Sep 2020):
    i) When does karma stop being karma?
    ii) Is the eudaimonist proposition true?