Buddhism and encounter with other religions, debate and dialogue
The historical Buddha lived in a time when many different religious and non-religious teachers and teachings were around, both the more official practices of the Brahmin priests and the many new ideas of the shramanas, and is portrayed as debating with them. In Buddhist history in India and elsewhere, Buddhist teachers and scholars have done the same, including with other interpretations of Buddhism. Elements of non-Buddhist traditions have been incorporated into or practised alongside Buddhism where found helpful or harmless. However, encounters with non-Buddhists in the course of history have sometimes been negative and even violent, especially where religion was tied up with nationality, and in times of war. Many contemporary Buddhists in the UK are open to interfaith dialogue, although there are some groups and individuals who consider that one should concentrate on the one (correct) path, and Buddhists will criticise aspects of other traditions if these are seen as harmful or not conducive to progress on the journey to enlightenment.