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Buddhism and Christianity: A Multicultural History of Their Dialogue (review)

Buddhism and Christianity: A Multicultural History of Their Dialogue (review) 4_133-201 9/3/03 7:31 AM Page 151 BOOK REVIEWS BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY: A MULTICULTURAL HISTORY OF THEIR DIALOGUE. By Whalen Lai and Michael von Brück. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2001. xiv + 265 pp. This book is an abridged translation of Buddhismus und Christentum: Geschichte, Konfrontation, Dialog, first published in 1997 by Verlag C. H. Beck in Munich. I do not know how much has been lost in the abridgement, but this English version remains a treasure trove that deserves to be read and digested by everyone engaged in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. From the English title, I expected a somewhat dry work of intellectual history, summarizing dated doctrinal debates. This book provides much more than that. Most valuable is its emphasis on the historical and cultural context of Buddhist- Christian encounters, especially the poisonous legacy of Western colonialism (which still survives today as economic neocolonialism). These quite varied contexts have usually been decisive for the success or failure of the encounter, and as this nuanced but frank study shows, the failures have been at least as notable as the successes. Here, too, we must remember the past if we want to do more than keep repeating it. As well as identifying specific http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Buddhism and Christianity: A Multicultural History of Their Dialogue (review)

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 23 – Oct 29, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472

Abstract

4_133-201 9/3/03 7:31 AM Page 151 BOOK REVIEWS BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY: A MULTICULTURAL HISTORY OF THEIR DIALOGUE. By Whalen Lai and Michael von Brück. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2001. xiv + 265 pp. This book is an abridged translation of Buddhismus und Christentum: Geschichte, Konfrontation, Dialog, first published in 1997 by Verlag C. H. Beck in Munich. I do not know how much has been lost in the abridgement, but this English version remains a treasure trove that deserves to be read and digested by everyone engaged in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. From the English title, I expected a somewhat dry work of intellectual history, summarizing dated doctrinal debates. This book provides much more than that. Most valuable is its emphasis on the historical and cultural context of Buddhist- Christian encounters, especially the poisonous legacy of Western colonialism (which still survives today as economic neocolonialism). These quite varied contexts have usually been decisive for the success or failure of the encounter, and as this nuanced but frank study shows, the failures have been at least as notable as the successes. Here, too, we must remember the past if we want to do more than keep repeating it. As well as identifying specific

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 29, 2003

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