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In the Beginning: Hebrew God and Zen Nothingness

In the Beginning: Hebrew God and Zen Nothingness ESSAYS Milton Scarborough Centre College, Danville, Kentucky In the 1960s, during the heyday of the so-called "Marxist-Christian dialogue," Leslie Dewart, one of the participants in the exchange, delivered himself of what I took to be a stunning and memorable utterance: "To put it lightly: the whole difference between Marxist atheism and Christian theism has to do with the existence of God."1 Now, at the end of the millennium, we are several decades into a Buddhist-Christian dialogue, precipitated by a shrinking globe, the growing presence of Buddhist communities and institutions in the West, and the initiative of the Kyoto School of Zen Buddhism. The dialogue has occurred along a variety of fronts. In terms of monastic life, for example, monks from the two traditions have discovered that they often feel a more powerful bond with each other than with laypersons of their own faiths. Some years ago I was a retreatant at Gethsemane Abbey in central Kentucky. Looking down from the sanctuary's balcony, where laypersons and other guests were required to sit, I noticed three Tibetan Buddhist monks in the choir, surrounded by Trappists and engaged in chanting the liturgy, something I, as a Christian, was not, at the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

In the Beginning: Hebrew God and Zen Nothingness

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 20 (1) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
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Abstract

ESSAYS Milton Scarborough Centre College, Danville, Kentucky In the 1960s, during the heyday of the so-called "Marxist-Christian dialogue," Leslie Dewart, one of the participants in the exchange, delivered himself of what I took to be a stunning and memorable utterance: "To put it lightly: the whole difference between Marxist atheism and Christian theism has to do with the existence of God."1 Now, at the end of the millennium, we are several decades into a Buddhist-Christian dialogue, precipitated by a shrinking globe, the growing presence of Buddhist communities and institutions in the West, and the initiative of the Kyoto School of Zen Buddhism. The dialogue has occurred along a variety of fronts. In terms of monastic life, for example, monks from the two traditions have discovered that they often feel a more powerful bond with each other than with laypersons of their own faiths. Some years ago I was a retreatant at Gethsemane Abbey in central Kentucky. Looking down from the sanctuary's balcony, where laypersons and other guests were required to sit, I noticed three Tibetan Buddhist monks in the choir, surrounded by Trappists and engaged in chanting the liturgy, something I, as a Christian, was not, at the

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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