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Living Buddha, Living Christ

by Thich Nhat Hanh, David Steindl-Rast, Nhat

Buy the book: Thich Nhat Hanh. Living Buddha, Living Christ

Release Date: September, 1997

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Thich Nhat Hanh. Living Buddha, Living Christ

The Heart of Compassion that lies at the heart of us all

Thich Nhat Hanh is a respected humanitarian as well as an insightful and intelligent author. The readability of this book is excellent for all people who seek to understand the contemplations that stir within his beautiful mind. The way in which Thich Nhat Hanh can describe such joy and inner peace almost makes the reader share his peace for a time. For the Christian or the Buddhist this is a must-have book, if you don't have it yet get it now, no really, right now, I'll wait. Jesus and siddartha have always been recognized as very similar and their must be a hunred books out there that compare them. This book doesn't do that; instead it compares both of the religions they founded and the common positive goal between them. Understandibly Thich Nhat Hanh uses many mor Buddhist metaphors but this should not imply that he has no knowledge of Christianity. It is obvious that Thich Nhat Hanh (I continue to use his full honorary as a sign of respect) has a breadth of understanding in reference to Christianity that some Christians fail to grasp.

Definitely read this book. It is a work of beauty and tranquility. I recommend it to everyone.

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Very Useful Book with A Major Flaw

Nhat Hanh has written a book that can be of much use to Christians and to a Buddhist-Christian dialog. He seems to be open to such a dialog and to the presence of truth in Christianity. He observes many parallels, similarities and even identical elements between the two faiths and describes those relationships with wisdom and insights from his own tradition that might profitably be adopted and put into practice by Christians. His search for common ground is far reaching, and he generously overlooks the many differences. But this strength is also a weakness. He sees a sameness where there is only a slight analogy and tends to identify realities that are not the same at all. Despite some similarities the Three Jewels are not the Trinity, mindfulness is not the Holy Spirit, nirvana is not God, and Nhat Hanh's description of Christianity in this book is not Christianity. In writing as he does about what a Buddhist understands on hearing certain Christian terms, he almost also seems to imply that once the West gets rid of its divisive, conceptual, and therefore useless, doctrines, it will probably be clear to all that Christianity is just Buddhism in disguise. True dialog demands that we honor the authentic tradition of the other and not seek to reduce it to our own. This goes for Nhat Hanh as well as the Vatican. Nevertheless there is much for the Christian to learn from this work, not least of which is the need to practice and not simply to profess one's faith.

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