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With Buddha, A Passionate Christian Openness

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 8, 2011

Last night I realised life is finite and I will not get to read all the books I would like to. So one must choose the best, obviously.

I want to read these, the second one in particular. I suspect they will be of interest to a few of you.

Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian

In this revealing retrospective, Paul Knitter recounts very personally how his encounters with liberation theology and with other religions, especially Buddhism, challenged and transformed his Christian faith. This will be of interest to all who are concerned with religious diversity and social justice.”

Buddhist Christianity: A Passionate Openness

I got this one out of the library earlier this year, but had to return it before reading. A summer project, perhaps.

christian buddhist

From Amazon:

It is possible to be a Christian Buddhist in the context of a universal kind of belief that sits fairly light to both traditions. But Ross Thompson writes, “my own biography has led me to take especially seriously the aspects of each faith that seem incompatible with the other, no God and no soul in Buddhism, for example, and the need for grace and the historical atonement on the cross in Christianity. Hence my Buddhist Christianity can be no bland blend of the tamer aspects of both faiths, but must result from a wrestling of the seeming incompatibles, allowing each faith to shake the other to its very foundations”. The author traces the personal journey through which his need for both faiths became painfully apparent. He explores the Buddha and Jesus through their teachings and the varied communities that flow from them, investigating their different understandings of suffering and wrong, self and liberation, meditation and prayer, cosmology and God or not? He concludes with a bold commitment in which both faiths are combined.

Gotta keep writing my thesis.

If you haven’t listened to System of a Down, you must!


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4 Responses to “With Buddha, A Passionate Christian Openness”

  1. Russell McMahon said

    I visited the world’s largest Buddhist sermon, Borubudur near Yogyakarta in Java. Nobody every decribes it so but that is surely what it is. The whole structure is built to reflect Buddhist thought and belief, including aspects which stare you in the face but are lost to most people (certainly including me without guide input). eg the stone “bells” at the top level which are each made of of a latticework of stone blocks. The pattern of blocks change in a manner that is pleasing to the eye. BUT also, on consideration, the inherent stability of the structures increases as you progress upwards and towards the centre – increasing order, stability and perfection. In each stone bell a stone Buddha.except for the great central bell which is apparently entirely solid. No latticework of stone, wholly stable, no imperfection – and no (ascended) Buddha. A sermon in stone bells.

    But the whole structure is covered with carvings which convey passages from the Buddhist lore (The stories of Sudhana and Manohara and others). Each carved panel is a “sermonette” in its own right. And a large majority seemed to be intended to convey messages that were entirely consistent with core conventional Christian ethos and belief. I am not suggesting any sort of Syncretism in the normal sense but rather noting an apparent general oneness of general purpose. Except, perhaps, in the (arguably?) most important things.


  2. Both books look interesting, Jonathan! I think this sentence is particularly intriguing (from the amazon blurb you quoted from above):
    “Hence my Buddhist Christianity can be no bland blend of the tamer aspects of both faiths, but must result from a wrestling of the seeming incompatibles, allowing each faith to shake the other to its very foundations.”

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