Under what conditions is it proper for Buddhists of one tradition to try and proselytize Buddhists from another tradition? Under what conditions is it improper? What harm can be done? What fruits can be gained?

Can cross-tradition debate be a good thing? Is it ever a bad thing? What is the proper motivation to do so? What are improper motivations? What is skillful? What is unskillful?

Is it desirable to grant a modicum of respect for all traditions? How should this respect be manifested? What are examples of disrespectful dialogue and how can/should the line be drawn?

Note: I'd prefer if these questions are not used to proselytize or engage in debate about Buddhist doctrine... but rather to answer the questions above.

... and references to dharma teachings, historical events, or opinions/literature of noted teachers also welcome and encouraged!

  • 1
    I have a feeling this is more of a meta question... Most of our questions expect answers that are informed either by scripture, or by personal studies under teachers, or by personal experience - but this is an invitation for an open-ended panel-style discussion. As such I don't think it makes it a good fit for this platform. Will be happy to hear other opinions and reopen.
    – Andrei Volkov
    May 16 '18 at 17:44
  • Happy to move this to meta... would that make more sense? OTOH, maybe there is teachings on this?? For instance, the sanskrit tradition holds that many cross-tradition debates occurred throughout history that could potentially inform answers here. I was hoping maybe there would be real answers based on dharma. May 16 '18 at 17:56
  • @ChrisW what do you think?
    – Andrei Volkov
    May 16 '18 at 18:32
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    Alright, so I just dusted off a 2014 question about debates in Buddhism, cleaned it up a bit, and merged most of this question's points as follow-up to that. I suppose we could just reopen this question after rewording it slightly, but I figured it would be nice to reuse an existing question that already had some answers.
    – Andrei Volkov
    May 16 '18 at 21:56
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    See also How are Buddhists supposed to spread Buddhism?
    – ChrisW
    May 16 '18 at 22:05