Creeds are a fraught issue for liberal religionists, especially Unitarian-Universalists. It is interesting to note how a rather different form of religion, which nonetheless has many liberal elements in the North American situation, approaches creeds. Jodo Shinshu Buddhists are the oldest organized form of Buddhism in America and Canada, based on traditions brought originally by Japanese immigrants.
Here is the Jodo Shinshu Creed from the main service book of the Buddhist Churches of America:
Entrusting the Vow of the Buddha and reciting the Sacred Name, I shall proceed through the journey of life with strength and joy.
Revering the Light of the Buddha, reflecting upon my imperfect self, I shall strive to live a life of gratitude.
Following the Teachings of the Buddha, discerning the Right Path, I shall spread the True Dharma.
Rejoicing in the Compassion of the Buddha, respecting and aiding one another, I shall do my best to work towards the welfare of society.
Usually, we think of creeds as being statements of belief. But this Buddhist denomination has created a creed which nowhere declares the community’s adherence to dogma. Rather, in general terms that leave plenty of room for individual interpretation, their creed is about what practices they commit themselves to as followers of the faith. Is this then actually a creed, no matter what label they have given it? Could this be a model in some way for other denominations?