Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Catholicism and Buddhism

Henri de Lubac was not only a great Patristics theologian, but he also specialized in inter-faith dialog, especially that of Buddhism. He taught extensively on this topic while in Lyon and authored books on it as well. I know of at least one such book, which was translated and published into English in 1954, Aspects of Buddhism. This work had both a Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur. I acquired a copy of it through Loomes!

Hans Urs von Balthasar regarded the dialogue with Buddhism as having a "greater long-term significance for Christianity even than the ancient dialogue with Greek thought, which decisively shaped the history of Christendom." Raymond Gawronski, S.J. authored a great book on Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter between East West entitled Word and Silence, which was published by Eerdmans in 1995.

Fr. Luigi Giussani also had a interest in Buddhism and maintained close friendships with many Buddhists as recorded in this TRACES article, Buddhism - Habukawa and Fr. Giussani.

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I would also refer everyone to Pope John Paul II's chapter of Buddha, which is short, but the best critique of Buddhism that I have ever read.



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Thomas Merton has been criticized because of his study and writings of Buddhism, but as you will see both above and below, he was in a fine tradition of great thinkers doing the same, including many monastics.

Merton and Buddhism - past event, but this document lists some great resources

Merton and Buddhism: Wisdom, Emptiness & Everyday Mind - audio of the entire conference directly above

Towards a Critical Appreciation of Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton Revisited





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Various articles on Buddhism by Joseph S. O'Leary

Towards a Buddhist Interpretation of Christian Truth

Emptiness and Compassion

Forgiveness

Conventions and Ultimacy in Japanese Religion

Japanese Buddhism

Buddhist Serenity in a Time of Rage

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The Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
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