BUDDHA, MARX AND GOD by Trevor Ling

BUDDHA, MARX AND GOD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Trevor Ling (Prophetic Religion) illustrates one of the religious paradoxes of the twentieth century: while the ""new theologians"" are busily trying to demolish institutional religion, the social scientists (equally ""new"") are just as busily trying to establish its importance as everything from a haven of autonomy for the individual to a potentially unifying force among the heretofore-clashing ideologies of East and West. It is religion in its latter function that concerns the author of the present work. Mr. Long takes Buddha, Marx, and God (the Judaeo-Christian one) as representatives of the major ""clashes"" and points out that Buddha and Marx apparently seem to be reaching a working compromise in the East, and that Marx and God, notwithstanding the demise of both in the West, seem complementary rather than mutually exclusive in their concern over socio-economic justice. Predictably, Ling has little patience with irrelevant theologians and theology (which, one may well believe, covers some nine-tenths of the theologians and theology of the West), and he has some entertainingly nasty things to say about them. But it is disappointing that he is unable to see an at-least-equal amount of irrelevancy in the non-Western traditions, and this failing gives his work a flavor of ill founded partiality which belies the scholarly tone and apparatus of the book. It is difficult to believe that Buddhist bonzes and Communist commissars are not, at least occasionally, as silly as their Western counterparts.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1967
Publisher: St. Martin's Press