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Masao Abe and the Dialogue Breakthrough

Masao Abe and the Dialogue Breakthrough PANEL ON MASAO ABE Stephen Rowe Grand Valley State University I am profoundly grateful to Masao Abe for many reasons, including his articulation of Zen and his responsiveness to my own work, but most especially for his breakthrough work on dialogue. For he, along with his Christian partner in dialogue, John B. Cobb Jr., has taken us to a new paradigm, one in which dialogue, in complementary relationship with our more particular practices and traditions, can be valued as a religious practice.1 Together these two towering figures of our time have broken through the koan of abstracted universality versus incommensurable particularity, and hence opened up a possibility for the human future the significance of which cannot be overestimated. In October 1986, I had the good fortune to find myself at the Third North American Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter, the stated theme of which was "Notions of Ultimate Reality in Buddhism and Christianity." A critical tension was evident early on in this event. Masao Abe spoke very persuasively of the "perspectiveless perspective" of Zen, arising from the experience of sunyata as the negation of negation or the radicalizing of Nothingness, of Zen as the affirmation of radical return. John Cobb http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Masao Abe and the Dialogue Breakthrough

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 28 (1) – Nov 14, 2008

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

PANEL ON MASAO ABE Stephen Rowe Grand Valley State University I am profoundly grateful to Masao Abe for many reasons, including his articulation of Zen and his responsiveness to my own work, but most especially for his breakthrough work on dialogue. For he, along with his Christian partner in dialogue, John B. Cobb Jr., has taken us to a new paradigm, one in which dialogue, in complementary relationship with our more particular practices and traditions, can be valued as a religious practice.1 Together these two towering figures of our time have broken through the koan of abstracted universality versus incommensurable particularity, and hence opened up a possibility for the human future the significance of which cannot be overestimated. In October 1986, I had the good fortune to find myself at the Third North American Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter, the stated theme of which was "Notions of Ultimate Reality in Buddhism and Christianity." A critical tension was evident early on in this event. Masao Abe spoke very persuasively of the "perspectiveless perspective" of Zen, arising from the experience of sunyata as the negation of negation or the radicalizing of Nothingness, of Zen as the affirmation of radical return. John Cobb

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 14, 2008

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