DIALOGUE: The Key To Understanding Other Religions by Donald K. Swearer

DIALOGUE: The Key To Understanding Other Religions

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The sacred texts of the world's religions are readily available in adequate translations. There are institutions where Sanskrit, Pali, Arabic, Hebrew can be mastered, and where a rich outlay of folklore, art, and sermons illuminate these studies. What is missing, according to W.C. Smith--much quoted here--is the means to come into living dialogue with persons for whom the religion studied is a transforming experience. This new book by Donald Swearer of Swarthmore College is both a guide to such dialogue and a sample of it. In an interplay between Theravada Buddhism as known in Thailand, and Christianity as expressed in Paul's letters and the Augustinian tradition, the author compares some of the terms, concepts, and idioms that make up the symbol systems of these two traditions. In a final chapter, a leading Thai monk comments on Christianity, but the meat of the book is Sweater's precise welcoming understanding of some key elements in the Theravada tradition, and careful placing of them against allied elements in Christianity, so that the latter are shaken free of easy superficiality. This is a book for those who mean to do it, and who will find here a responsible and informed adjunct.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Westminister