Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

The Christian-Buddhist Dialogue in America
While Zen Buddhism began to have a powerful artistic and cultural influence in America in the last half of the nineteenth century, the Buddhist-Christian dialogue officially began with the Parliament of the World Religions in Chicago in 1896....

"Profiles in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue"
Robert Jonas gave the following interview with Jim Arraj during July and August of 1996 at DePaul University in Chicago. It provides a nice history of Jonas' views on Christian-Buddhist dialogue, and some of the things he has done to facilitate it. It is part of a series entitled "Profiles in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue." This is an excerpt; you may order the entire DVD (and other media about the Buddhist-Christian dialogue) from Inner Growth Books & Videos.

Personal Reflections on the Christian-Buddhist Path
In 1996, Jonas sat down with Sunanda Markus of the Seva Foundation for discussion of his own personal journey as a Christian inspired by Buddhist insights and spiritual practice.

For further personal reflections by Robert Jonas on the path to Christian-Buddhist concord, see his reflections on the Way of Peace below, and his biography page.

Fr. Laurence Freeman and the Dalai Lama:
      The Way of Peace
At the turn of the millenium the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) sponsored a series of discussions between Christians and Buddhists called "The Way of Peace." The founder and spiritual guide of this world-wide contemplative community, Fr. Laurence Freeman, is a good friend of the Tibetan Buddhist Dalai Lama, and the two of them were present at these dialogues -- in Bodh Gaya, India in December, 1998, Florence, Italy in May, 1999 and Belfast, Northern Ireland in October, 2000. Robert Jonas was there as well, and has written the following reflections:

Other Resources:

Jesus & Buddha: Practicing Across Traditions
Robert Jonas' shakuhachi was used throughout the film Jesus & Buddha, a profile of "modern mystics" who explore the common wisdom in Buddhism and Christianity.

Eruption of truth: An interview with Raimon Panikkar
Raised in spain by a Catholic mother and a Hindu father, Raimon Panikkar has made interreligious dialogue his life's work, and is the author of some 40 books. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1946, and is attached to the diocese of Varanasi in India. Panikkar .. After many years as professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he is living in retirement in Spain, revising his Gifford Lectures, "The Rhythm of Being," for publication.

Meister Eckhart scholar, Bernard McGinn.
Meister Eckhart, a medieval Dominican friar, is one of the most important bridges between Christian and Buddhist spirituality. This is why the Zen Buddhist scholar, D.T. Suzuki, focuses on Eckhart in his book, Mysticism, Christian and Buddhist. In this video produced by Empty Bell, Eckhart scholar Bernard McGinn gives a fine overview of Eckhart's vision.

Bibliography and Links
After more than a century of Buddhist-Christian dialogue and collaboration, many resources have become available. Here are some of the most useful:

Top image © Robert Lentz
Bottom image © Heather Ray