The Gospel for Buddhists and the Dharma for Christians

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In this book Donovan Roebert provides a path for Christians and Buddhists who wish to better understand the essential, living tenets of their own faith while exploring how these two great religious paths can provide insights of real benefit to adherents of either. Without lapsing into syncretism or demanding a departure from orthodoxy, this book provides a sound and thorough basis on which Christians and Buddhists—and all those seeking greater insight into faiths other than their own—can explore the rich ...

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Overview

In this book Donovan Roebert provides a path for Christians and Buddhists who wish to better understand the essential, living tenets of their own faith while exploring how these two great religious paths can provide insights of real benefit to adherents of either. Without lapsing into syncretism or demanding a departure from orthodoxy, this book provides a sound and thorough basis on which Christians and Buddhists—and all those seeking greater insight into faiths other than their own—can explore the rich possibilities for learning from one another. Beyond describing in detail the doctrines and practices of Christianity and Buddhism, this book describes the authentic human path of religious development with a strong focus on the problem of 'self' or 'ego' in spiritual growth, discussing obstacles to growth and exploring their remedies. Brief histories of both religions are provided, enabling the reader to understand how diversity is an inevitable consequence of historical development and, rather than standing as a problem in religious dialogue, is always a means to spiritual enrichment.The Gospel for Buddhists and the Dharma for Christians is the fruit of a personal spiritual journey of thirty years. It demonstrates that the search for religious freedom becomes richer and more rewarding when a spacious mind engages with, rather then flees from, religious paths outside of its own tradition. Finally, it is a plea for sincere friendship across factitious religious divides.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606080405
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/2/2009
  • Pages: 338

Meet the Author

Donovan Roebert is the author of Samdhong Rinpoche: Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World (2006) and Jungian Moon (1994). Formerly involved in Christian mission work, he converted to Buddhism in 1997. He is the founder of the Christian Friends of Tibet in South Africa.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Author's Preface xi

Foreword by Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche xv

Foreword by Prof. John W. de Gruchy xix

Introduction xxi

Part 1 Syncretism, Exclusivism and the Middle Way

Extreme Syncretism

Exclusive Conformism

Self, Relativity and the Absolute

Relative Selves, Relative Paths

A Middle Way

The Relative Nature of Self and Religion

Positively Open or Negatively Shut

Faith and Knowledge. 1

Part 2 The Teachers: Jesus Christ and the Buddha

Jesus in the Gospels

The Historical Jesus

The Teaching of Jesus

His life as Teaching

His Death and Resurrection

The Pattern of Christian Growth

Evil Defeated

Christlike Sacrifice

Knowing God and His Kingdom

The Life of the Buddha

The Life of the Buddha as Teaching

The Buddha's Dharma: The First Noble Truth

The Second Noble Truth

The Third Noble Truth

The Fourth Noble Truth: The Eightfold Path

Other Teachings. 17

Part 3 The Saving Work of the Teachers

The Nature of the Teachers and the Nature of People

The Buddha as Universal Teacher

The Dharmakaya Emanation

Transcending Karma

A Buddhist View of Christ

Intellectual Analysis and Spirit

Other Complementary Truths

Fallenness: Eating The Fruit

Repentance and Renewal

Renewal in Buddhism

The Sense of Fallenness

In Christ

In the Three Jewels

A Pause to Look Back. 66

Part 4 Outline Histories of Christianity and Buddhism

History, Diversity, Division and Authenticity

Brief History of Christianity

The First Century

Early Scriptures

Institution

Doctrine

Method and Practice

Summary of the First Period

The Second and Third Centuries

The Imperial Church

After Constantine

TheRoman Church

The Later Byzantine Church

Schism

The Medieval Church

The Reformation

The Counter Reformation

Protestantism

Later Developments

The Modern Church

Christian Diversity

The Christian Understanding of History

Brief History of Buddhism

The Early Sects

Monasticism

The First Scholastic Splits

Early Buddhist Practice

Early Missions

The Mahayana

Developments in Mahayana Doctrine to 500 AD

The Hinayana in the Same Period

Later Buddhist Missions

The Tantrayana

The Later Spread of Buddhism

Chinese Buddhism

Japan

Tibet

Buddhism After 1000 AD

Revision and Diversity

History, Diversity and the Mean. 127

Part 5 The Paths and the Goals

The Christian Goal in the World

Personal Will, Habits of Mind

Human Instinct

The Buddhist Goal in Samsara: Wisdom

Compassion

Comparative Comment

Christian Perseverance

Buddhist Determination

A Note on the Stages of the Path

Stages of the Christian Path

First Stage: The Path of Renewal

Second Stage: The Path of Awareness

Development of Self-View on the Path of Awareness

Other Aspects of Growth

Third Stage: The Path of Dying

Falling Away on the Path of Dying

Stability on the Path

Fourth Stage: The Path of Death

Purification

Complection

Fifth Stage: The Path of Resurrection

Two Approaches to the Christian Path

Obstacles on the Christian Path

Carnal Self-Centredness

Distraction

Doubt

Fear

Fear of Evil

Perfect Love as Antidote to Fear

Temptation

Actual Sin

Discouragement

Presumption

Despair

Summary: Mind on the Christian Path

Stages of the Buddhist Path

First Stage: The Path of Accumulation

Second stage: The Path of Preparation

Meditative Preparation

First Step: Cultivating Non-Distraction

Second Step: Identifying the Wrongly Perceived 'I'

Third Step: Reasoned Negation of the Inherent Existence of 'I'

Fourth Step: Cultivating Calm Abiding (Shamatha)

Fifth Step: Single-Pointedness (Vipashyana)

Purpose

Mind and Modes of Consciousness

General Growth on the Path of Preparation

Third Stage: The Path of Seeing

Analytical Meditation on Emptiness

Alternating Meditation

Meditation on Emptiness

Attainments of Seeing

Meditation and Post-Meditation

Fourth Stage: The Path of Meditation

Wisdom-Compassion and the Perfections

Fifth Stage: No More Learning

Obstacles one the Eightfold Path

Wrong View of the Self

Wrong View of Others

Wrong View of Phenomena

Wrong View of Events

Wrong View of Dharma

Wrong Attitude to Self

Wrong Attitude to Others

Wrong Attitude to Phenomena

Wrong Attitude to Events

Wrong Attitude to Dharma

Distraction as Source of Obstacles on the Christian and Buddhist Paths

Overcoming Afflictions (Obstacles on the Christian Path in Buddhist Perspective)

Wrong Views and Attitudes (Obstacles on the Buddhist Path in Christian Perspective)

Self and the Inner Energy

Method

Empowerments

The Goal

Beyond Physical Death

The Christian View

The Buddhist View

Common Ground. 203

Part 6 Conclusion: An Invitation to Spaciousness

The Essential Path

Doctrine

Spaciousness. 309

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