Following up on his Living Buddha, Living Christ, Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh's newest book explores the connections between Buddhism and Christianity. In a series of pithy addresses, the author, a Vietnamese monk, considers, inter alia, the similarities between the Christian practice of baptism and the Buddhist practice of taking refuge. Thich Nhat Hanh captures his assessment of the two traditions' compatibility in a culinary metaphor: a fan of French cuisine can also love Chinese food. To support his conclusion that there is "no conflict at all between the Buddha and the Christ in me," he sometimes describes Christianity in terms that many Christian readers might not recognize, such as when he asserts that "all of us are Jesus." But the author's overarching point stands: in the late 20th century, both Buddhism and Christianity are struggling to maintain meaningful presences in the world. Rather than see each other as antagonists, Buddhists and Christians should learn from each other, and work together in the pursuit of common goals. Sure to appeal to New Age dabblers, but with enough meat to attract serious students as well, this is a valuable addition to the growing literature on these two religious traditions.
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