By Denise Lardner Carmody
Buddhism is deeply appealing to many within the West. Its beliefs of serenity and compassion appear to offer a size of private spirituality that they do not locate of their personal traditions. For these raised within the Christian Church, Buddhism can seem to exemplify the simplest of their personal religion--qualities corresponding to peacefulness, simplicity, and reverence for life--while shelling out with inflexible doctrines and legalistic morality. certainly, the variety of Christian converts to Buddhism--especially within the United States--has grown exponentially through the years. while, Buddhists and Christians, spotting the affinities of the 2 faiths, have more and more sought to increase an inter-religious dialogue.
In Serene Compassion, John and Denise Carmody supply an available assessment and assessment of Buddhist proposal and perform from a Christian perspective. They locate that Buddhism is, in lots of methods, an incredible supplement and spouse to Christianity. to teach why, the Carmodys specialize in Buddhist rules approximately holiness--comprising such virtues as purity, devotion, orderliness, compassion, and wholeheartedness--and show how they examine to related values in conventional Christianity. They emphasize the kinship among seekers of holiness in either traditions, and provide a nuanced and sympathetic portrait of meditative practices that deliver awareness and mind's eye into the provider of religious lifestyles. even as, although, they're frank approximately concerns of doctrinal war of words, making it transparent that a few elements of Buddhist idea usually are not appropriate with a Christian international view.
relocating well past an easy exposition of Buddhist notions, or a comparability of Christian with Buddhist perform, Serene Compassion concludes that Buddhists and Christians proportion a easy humanity, and that Buddhism's good fortune on the activity of nourishing this humanity has a lot to educate all Christians. Informative and insightful, it is going to attract readers drawing close the discussion from both sides, and to all engaged within the religious quest.
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Additional resources for Serene Compassion: A Christian Appreciation of Buddhist Holiness
Who and what we are does not and could not occur without this silent primal speech of nirvana. In other words, the dharma that is cosmic, the Logos that expresses the mind of God, is the alphabet or grammar or breathing on which our ontological saying, the little song we sing by being here for x number of nights and days, depends. We make no say without it, apart from its foundational, constitutive contribution. Another way of putting this is to posit that we are related to nirvana through and through.
Nonetheless, anything insightful in such an affirmation would apply to nirvana, as Buddhist philosophers saw it. The only caution was not to reify such an affirmation, not to imply that "permanent" or "self-sufficient" captured the reality of nirvana without qualification or remainder. Interestingly, the best Christian theologians entered parallel cautions. Regularly, they insisted that when speaking of God we miss the mark more often than we hit it. No matter what we say about God, God remains more unlike than like our predication.
He or she is not distracted, daydreaming, or out of control. Sufficient for any day or moment is the "evil," the necessity, present and begging treatment. The mindful do not lose themselves in the future, and they are not trapped in the past. Neither ambition nor nostalgia taints their awareness. When planning is necessary, they gladly scan the future. When it seems 34 / SERENE COMPASSION prudent to review past experience, they move serenely into the archives of memory. Mindfulness is an index of spiritual vitality.