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Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Buy the book: Thich Nhat Hanh. Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers

Release Date: 10 October, 2000

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Thich Nhat Hanh. Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers


Better Living

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most well known Buddhist teachers in the world and most assuredly the one man most responsible for bringing Buddha and his teachings to the West. The lectures contained within this book will make any who follow their path a better human being. They show the way to more mindful Buddhism as well as the way to more mindful Christianity. To follow in such a way that you become Christ-like is the point of Christianity and the path to such a lifestyle is laid out within this book. True faith is explained better than I have ever seen it explained anywhere. Thây, as Hanh is casually known to his disciples, enlightens the Buddhist and Christian alike as well as any who would listen. The life laid out within this book is a life worth living by all human accounts, filled with joy and happiness for both one who follows this path as well as those whose lives are touched by any who live this path. Whether read for leisure or as serious study, this book will change the lives of any and all who read it for what it is, suggested living. This book is taken from lectures given at Plum Village, Thây's retreat in France. You feel as though you are receiving the lectures in person, they are invigorating. I recommend this book to all those who suffer in the smallest amount.

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More Harmful Than Helpful To Interfaith Dialog

In Going Home Nhat Hanh continues the Buddhist-Christian "dialog" he began in Living Buddha, Living Christ. The sequel repeats the same strong points and difficulties of the earlier book. The chapters are Christmas season talks given in Plum Village. Probably because many Christians are in his audience as well as among his readership he uses Christian themes and words to get his message across. He says he is encouraging them to return to their roots, to go home, even if they are disaffected with their church. But his words seem to me more destructive than supportive of Christian faith or Buddhist-Christian dialog. Christians frankly do have a lot to learn from Buddhism and even from Nhat Hanh when he is teaching Buddhism explicitly. But his use of Christian terminology causes a very serious problem. If he needed to mention Christianity at all, I wish he had written something like, "Christians believe in the Eucharist. In Buddhism we eat in a way that puts us in touch with Ultimate Reality, let me tell you about it. Perhaps you will see parallels that will help you in your faith." Christians could really profit from something like that. Instead he tells Christians what Eucharist means, what it is all about, and Christ, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the Sacraments, Creed, Church, etc., as well. Yet what he teaches under these words is Buddhism, not Christianity. Where the essentials of Christianity or the meaning of a doctrine differ from his own Buddhist understanding of truth, he rejects them, ignores them, or dismisses them as a matter of mere words. In effect he redefines Christian words so that the Christian faith disappears. His attitude seems to be, "As I see it, if there is a real encounter between Buddhism and Christianity, there will be a very drastic change within the Christian tradition... If we can bring into Christianity the insight of interbeing and of non-duality, we will radically transform the way people look on the Christian tradition..." (p. 98) He says that all this is so that the real jewels of Christianity may appear, but are the jewels Christ's or Buddha's? I am one hundred percent for interfaith dialog, but this approach is not helpful. Nhat Hanh can forward the dialog by sticking to what he does best -- teaching Buddhism in Buddhist terminology.

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