In Christianity and Buddhism Whalen Lai and Michael von Bruck bring together for scholars, students, and interested lay observers the developments and understandings reached in Christian-Buddhist dialogue in six key regions of the world. After a two-generations-long exploration by scholars and devotees, the authors judge it opportune to furnish a bird's-eye view of the terrain that dialogue has covered.
Lai and von Bruck explore questions such as what is meant by a-theism and God-talk in the two traditions, asking whether the dialogue has revealed irreconcilable opposition or areas where each side can profit from insights from the other. They acknowledge that similarities of language in the two traditions can mask differences in substance, while differences in language can mask agreements in substance: and it is not always clear which is the case. While a first-generation dialoguer, Joseph Kitagawa, once noted that "mutual monologue" was a better description of the Christian-Buddhist project than "dialogue", Lai and von Bruck point to areas of important, dynamic understanding and clarification of where dialogue needs to go to address disagreements as well.
Christianity and Buddhism, A Multicultural History of Their Dialogue, Whalen Lai & Michael von Bruck, Orbis Books, Paperback, 2001265 Pages, $40.00