Buddhist Audio Books

From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra
A Western Buddhist’s Encounters with Christianity
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579729
Read by Subhadra

‘I wanted to share my experience, and my reflections on my experience, with those Western Buddhists who, like me, grew up within a Christian culture’.

With considerations of the Bible, Christian mythology and ethics (including its view on sexuality), saints and mystics as well as stories like Barlaam and Josaphat, this book reflects Sangharakshita's breadth of thought and contemplation. Realizing that he was a Buddhist at age 16, Sangharakshita eventually spent 20 years in India. Returning to England, he established Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (1967); Western Buddhist Order (1968). Author of nearly 50 books.

An Extract from: From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra
It was my intention some years ago to write a full-length comparative study of Buddhism and Christianity, but old age, and therewith the partial loss of my eyesight, have crept up on me and prevented me from carrying out this plan, which in any case was an ambitious one. I was unwilling, however, to give up the idea altogether, and it occurred to me that if I was unable to produce a full-length comparative study of the two religions I could at least write an account of my personal contact, over the years, with Christianity and Christians. Thus the present work is largely autobiographical, though I have not hesitated to deviate, from time to time, from the autobiographical framework in order to explore an aspect of Christianity which was of special interest to me. I have written it for my own satisfaction. I wanted to take stock, as it were, of my attitude to Christianity as it had impinged on my life and thought in the course of the last eighty years. At the same time, I wanted to share my experience, and my reflections on my experience, with those Western Buddhists who, like me, grew up within a Christian culture, as well as with students of comparative religion, and with Christians who might be interested to know how one modern Buddhist, at least, in retrospect views their religion. After relating my early memories of Christianity and Christians in chapter one, I turn my attention, in chapter two, to the Bible, especially to the poetical books of the Old Testament, which I enjoyed as a boy and which I still enjoy. The fact that I am a Buddhist does not in the least detract from my enjoyment of them, for I read the Bible as literature, not as the Word of God. In chapter three, beginning with the Gunpowder Plot, the anniversary of which I celebrated as a small boy, and ending with the persecution of the Vietnamese Buddhists by the ruling Catholic oligarchy, I trace the way in which power has corrupted the Roman Catholic Church. I also relate my contact with Catholic priests, one of whom became a good friend.


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