The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha (Great Conversations)
~Ravi K. Zacharias
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Average customer rating:
3.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 157673854X
Manufacturer : Multnomah Publishers|
Release data : October, 2001
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A selection of product reviews
Fascinating and thought provoking
In this fascinating book, the author brings Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha together for a short boat-ride, accompanying a prostitute who is dying of AIDS. Along the way, the three (four, if you include the boat driver) hold a conversation about religion and reality.
I very much enjoyed this book, which reminded me a great deal of the Socratic dialogues, written by Plato. As with those books, this one was written to prove the superiority of the philosophy of one of the characters. Also, Dr. Zacharias is not an expert on Buddhism, and reports that the research for this book was conducted by speaking to several Buddhist monks, rather than widely recognized Buddhist thinkers.
That said, though, I thought that this was a very interesting and well-written book, one which gave me a great deal of food for thought. If you are looking for an erudite comparison of Buddhist and Christian theology, then you *will* be disappointed by this book. But, if you are interested in a fascinating, thought provoking book, then I highly recommend this book to you!
disappointed...fantastic subject, but a letdown
I was excited to read this little book as I am a Christian who enjoys studying religions and cultures world wide. I was immediately put off by the authors tone and obvious lack of respect for two great spirtiual leaders who have so much in common, if that is what he chose to focus on. Sadly, it is their differences and a heavy Christian tone that lends its "voice" to Jesus. I wonder does the author really think that as the voice of Jesus he would be so superior to a enlightened soul as that of Buddha? Or is that the authors superiority coming through? Buddhism, like Christianity is often shown in an unfavourable light and it is not just the world's suffering that Buddha had to teach but the end of suffering and realising your happiness in the present moment. How sad this Christian writer may put off others to explore other beliefs and see the similarities instead of just the obvious differences.
Understanding others with an open mind is what Jesus and Buddha both tried to give us, I encourage reading Thich Nhat Hahns Jesus and Buddha as Brothers or Going Home. He appreciates that both men were a gift to our existance! And allows them to be equals not an obvious leader in the pack.
Short, but good
At only 60 small pages, this is a quick read. However, it does give a powerful philosophical critique of Buddhism as a whole, and in the meantime offers Christianity as an alternative worldview. Worth reading: however, I wouldn't be surprised if Buddhists were annoyed that Jesus talks quite a bit more than Buddha does!