“You Wrote Books About Paganism?!?”

The late Kenneth Leech used to tell the story about giving a lecture at a seminary in America on the topic of race relations, and afterwards a seminarian seemed surprised to learn that he was the "same Kenneth Leech" who wrote books on spirituality. Apparently, the mind of this seminarian couldn't equate a social-justice Christian with a contemplative-prayer Christian.But yes, Leech-the-expert-on-racism and Leech-the-expert-on-mysticism were one and the same.I often have a similar c … [Read more...]

Five Approaches to InterSpirituality

Brother Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions and A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life, coined the new word "interspirituality." Sort of a mash-up between "interfaith dialogue" and "spirituality," interspirituality refers to the possibility or practice of integrating spiritual exercises and practices from more than one faith tradition into one's own expression of spirituality.Obviously this covers a wide … [Read more...]

Five Things Christian Contemplatives can learn from Buddhists

Last night I attended a Beginner's Meditation Class at the Dharma Jewel Monastery in Atlanta. Dharma Jewel is the home to several Chan Buddhist nuns from Taiwan.Recently, two friends of mine — one a Zen Buddhist priest, the other a Catholic theologian — suggested within 24 hours of each other that I would enjoy exploring Chan (the Chinese form of what in Japan is called Zen). So I signed up for this class, figuring it would be a way for me to connect with the nuns here in Atlanta.I was bl … [Read more...]

Interfaith Dialogue, Interspirituality, and Holy Daring

Recently I spoke at a church located about an hour north of where I live. As I drove to the church, I chatted on the phone with my brother who lives in Florida. We were making plans for me to come visit him on the weekend of our birthdays (his is a day later than mine). I mentioned that while I was there, I wanted to attend a training weekend at the local Shambhala Center.My brother, who is a confirmed agnostic, surprised me with his response. "Are you sure that's wise?" he asked."What … [Read more...]

101 Books for Buddhist-Christian Dialogue

Are you interested in exploring the richness of dialogue and interspiritual practice between Christianity and Buddhism? If so, then here's enough literature to keep you going for a while. Each of the books on the following list has some sort of connection with both Christianity and Buddhism.Some of these titles are academic studies, some the writings of monastics, others geared toward the laity. Some are books by Christians about Buddhism, or by Buddhists about interfaith dialogue; by … [Read more...]