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The Buddha and the Christ - Reciprocal Views Paperback – January 9, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ernest Valea holds a BD in theology (London University, 2006) and is currently engaged in PhD research on Buddhist-Christian dialogue with the University of Wales.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (January 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143921722X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439217221
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By persimmony on January 1, 2010
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This book is a hidden jewel for anyone seeking to understand a true comparison of Buddha and Christ. The author does not distort their teachings to create a superficial similarity, but presents clearly and profoundly and respectfully the insight into the Nature of Reality as taught by each. The book is divided into three sections. (1) It begins with the historical/cultural background of both the Buddha and the Christ, giving context for their teachings and clarifying how they were understood by their contemporaries. The summary of Hinduism from the Vedas to the time of the Buddha is particularly helpful. (2) It then proceeds to discuss their life and teachings. This includes the actual historical setting of their lives and teachings as well as how they understood themselves and their teachings in that context. (3) In the final section, it discusses their reciprocal views on the foundational questions such as the nature of Ultimate Reality, personhood, and concepts of salvation. By clearly presenting the real teachings of each, the apparent similarities so often assumed are seen to actually be very different insights into the Nature of Reality. Both are ultimately exclusive in their explanation of this Ultimate Reality and consequently their understanding of personhood and salvation, and both require a set of presuppositions taken by faith and confirmed through experience. In this context of very real and foundational differences, the author calls for true religious tolerance which respects these differences rather than glossing over them to create a superficial harmony. The author concludes with his personal story of where he stands as a Christian in the divide between Buddha and Christ.

I rarely write reviews, but this book was so impressive that I feel compelled to share.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John, Ph.D. on May 17, 2009
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This book was not what I had expected. But that is probably my fault for paying attention to the subtitle and expecting a comparison of the areas in which the Buddha and Christ show similarities, such as in Borg's book Jesus and Buddha or Thich Nhat Hanh's Jesus and Buddha as Brothers. I was hoping for a further discussion along those lines. What I had overlooked was "Christ" in the main title. I had mistakenly thought that the author would be comparing the actual teachings of Jesus as found in the synoptic Gospels with similar passages of the Buddha.
Valea is a strict bible-literal Christian and assumes the Christ figure as developed in Paul's letters and the Gospel of John is factually correct. His book comes down to showing that the Buddha had no similarity to Christ in the matters that Valea finds important. This is not a bad thing if you are a Christian needing reassurance that Buddhism is not a threat to your Christian beliefs. In his conclusion, he basically says that he was trying to shoot down Thich Nhat Hanh's calling Jesus and Buddha brothers.
I happen to believe that there is one mountain with many paths. I do find that in places where it matters to me, such as love for your fellow beings, compassion, acceptance of all, helping those who need it, and peace, there are similarities between the Buddha and Jesus.
If you agree with Valea's view, buy this book. If you tend to side with my view, please let this one go by.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fran Blomberg on April 10, 2009
The Buddha and the Christ: Reciprocal Views is clearly laid out, easy to follow, well defended and supported by quotes each tradition's of sacred writings. Valea's respectful tone is first shown in his discussion of the traditions' origins in Hinduism and Judaism. He discusses the self-understanding of the two leaders as well as the sacred writings of the religions. In part three, Reciprocal Views, Valea compares some major teachings of both traditions in a very even-handed way. He demonstrates his thesis that the teachings of the Buddha and the Christ each work within their religious system, but superficial or improper combinations of their teaching would compromise the integrity of either. This book is e an excellent tool for reasonably comparing belief structures of Buddhism and Christianity.
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