Nice quote Mike!
However, it seems to me that to argue that it is not a religion in some sense would be inaccurate.
Yes, yes. I agree that to 'be Buddhist' is
to be religious--but, I would maintain that it requires us to be 'religious' in a way that both follows and goes beyond the notion of religion as it is conventionally understood--that is to say, we need to approach religion in a way that does not pit it in strict opposition to philosophy, science and what not, as we have in recent history. Or to put it another way, I wonder if we can be 'religious' in a way that is beyond the terms set by the religion/philosophy dichotomy. I do not know exactly how this is going to unfold but I think it is something worth exploring. Perhaps I could evoke the metaphor of middle path here, or more specifically, the ongoing search
for the middle path.
pink_trike: Yes, you're right. I believe the Greeks in Antiquity did distinguish between religion and philosophy, but yet somehow interrelated the two in a way that was lost by the middle ages. The Ancient Greek understanding of the cosmos, as far as I understand (I am by no means well-versed in Ancient Greek thought or history, btw), involved a dimension of 'the sacred' that was later banished to the periphery, made irrelevant, with the rise of secular philosophy in around the 17th century. So yes, it might be better to speak of 'religiosity'. But all in all, my point was that we need to be reflexively aware of how our understanding of religion and philosophy has been conditioned, and how such conditioning in turn shape our understanding of Buddhism, so that we may allow for more expansive understandings of those concepts (and Buddhism) to express themselves.