RELIGION
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bridge-text.doc - A JERUSALEM-TOKYO BRIDGE...

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A JERUSALEM-TOKYO BRIDGE Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and the Thought of Seiichi Yagi Leonard Swidler
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CONTENTS A JERUSALEM-TOKYO BRIDGE 1 I. WHAT IS DIALOGUE? 1 1. A Description of Dialogue 1 2. Guidelines for Interreligious Dialogue 2 II. WHAT IS BUDDHISM? DEVELOPMENT AND SPREAD: INDIA, CHINA KOREA AND JAPAN 3 1. The Four Noble Truths 3 2. Theism, A-Theism, Non-Theism 4 3. Relational Process Thinking 4 4. Ultimate Reality 6 5. Hinayana (Theravada), Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism 8 6. Buddhism in Japan 11 III. WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY? DEVELOPMENT AND SPREAD: ISRAEL, ROME, INDIA, CHINA, JAPAN 15 1. Hebrew Religion 15 2. Judaism 16 3. Yeshua of Nazareth 16 4. Christology 17 5. The Christian Religion and Its Spread 18 6. Christianity in Japan 19 IV. BUDDHIST-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE 21 1. Organization of the Dialogue 21 2. Areas of the Dialogue 22 3. Topics in the Dialogue 23 V. SEIICHI YAGI = S THEOLOGY 28 1. Dialogue, Relationality, Integration 28 2. Ultimate Reality 29 3. Paul and Shinran, Yeshua and Dogen 30 4. Yagi = s Place in Japanese Christianity 30 5. Two A Conversions @ 31 VI. THIS BOOK AS BRIDGE 32
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A JERUSALEM-TOKYO BRIDGE It is a long way from Jerusalem to Tokyo, spiritually as well as physically. Spiritually here I mean from the religion of Jesus the Jew and his followers to the religion of Gautama the Indian, and in particular to Japanese Zen Buddhism. In the past there have been physical encounters, but on the spiritual level we Christians and Buddhists have tended either simply to ignore each other, or shout, or even throw things, at the other (the latter two have been almost exclusively A Christian @ activities). The other spiritual possibility, to A visit @ each other, had been avoided if it ever had even been thought about. But, to make the journey in either direction a reliable bridge would have to be erected, a bridge of dialogue. In fact, a foot-bridge has already been set up and a number of venturesome individuals have gone forth over it and come back with stirring, stimulating news of the Other. As a result more have set about to expand the narrow foot-bridge to something broader that will bear heavier traffic, for more and more travelers are being attracted by what they hear of the Other, and, even more fundamentally, by the ever-pressing human search for Truth. What is this bridge, dialogue? I. WHAT IS DIALOGUE? 1. A Description of Dialogue When we talk of dialogue today we mean an intellectual, spiritual encounter between two or more persons or groups that is different from what these encounters usually have been in the past. In the past they were confrontation, argument, debate, subjection, convert-making, or the like. In brief, each of us came to the encounter from a position of assumed superiority; we came not to learn but to teach because we had the truth, and to the extent the others differed from us they were in error: Such, in large measure, has been the history of the past encounters between religions and ideologies 1 . That, however, is not what is meant today by dialogue. Rather, dialogue
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