Links for Buddhist-Christian practitioners

This killer list of resources was compiled by Victoria Scarlett of Lotus & Lily Seattle

Buddhism and Christianity Mutual Respect Group
An online group for people who wish to explore, and contribute to, the mutual love, respect, and understanding possible between these two traditions of belief. Its goal is to find is to find mutual perceptions, which most often take place on levels informed by love and not by fear.

Buddhist-Catholic Ethicist Tobias Meeker
A National Catholic Reporter profile of a Buddhist-Catholic ethicist. Meeker’s description of himself as “profoundly Buddhist” also includes the fact that he is Christian (although he was a Buddhist first), also Catholic, also a former Trappist monk, an active member of a parish, and finishing his 13th year as director of the ethics program at St. John’s Health Center in Springfield, Mo.

Buddhist Christian Links Page
A page nested within the Buddhist Links website. It offers links to essays, other websites, and publications dealing with Buddhist-Christian dialogue.

Buddhist/Christian Interfaith Community
A group out of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Denver, CO, that celebrates pluralism. Sponsors of the group include The Shambhala Center of Denver, The Thomas Merton Center for Creative Exchange, The Iliff School of Theology, The Denver Zen Center, The Denver Buddhist Temple, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Buddhist Christian Network
A network based in the United Kingdom that aims to connect various people and organizations interested in the teaching and practice of Buddhist and Christian meditation and contemplation. It seeks to foster and promote relationship between practitioners of both traditions. The Buddhist Christian Network was formed in 1999 by Elizabeth West, a former Christian nun who has close links with the Bede Griffiths sangha in India, the World Community for Christian Meditation, and the Awakened Heart Sangha. The Network publishes a newsletter and holds seminars and workshops.

Buddhist Christian Studies Database
The Buddhist Christian Studies Database (BCSD) was created and is maintained by Jonas Barciauskas of Boston College. The BCSD database enables scholars to search by author, title, keyword, and other citation data. BCSD’s coverage is 1995-2005. The major academic disciplines covered are theology, religious studies, philosophy, and history, although articles from other disciplines are included. Many of the 700+ citations are to articles appearing in over 130 journals. Most of the items cited in BCSD are in English.

Buddhist-Christian Studies Journal
A scholarly journal devoted to Buddhism and Christianity and their historical and contemporary interrelationships, Buddhist-Christian Studies presents thoughtful articles, conference reports, and book reviews. It also includes sections on comparative methodology and historical comparisons, as well as ongoing discussions from two dialogue conferences: the Theological Encounter with Buddhism, and the Japan Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. Subscription is also available through membership in the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies.

Catholic monk becomes Zen sensei
After 50 years as a Catholic monk Kevin Hunt was installed as a teacher in the White Plum Asanga. This article from the Catholic Reporter discusses the Trappist’s new title as a sign of church’s ‘inevitable’ encounter with the East.

Centering Prayer and Zen Meditation Group
An ecumenical group that gathers weekly on Sunday afternoons to deepen their practice through discussion, readings, and presentation by occasional speakers. Meetings begin and end with 20 minute sits. This is a program of Brigid’s Place, a center for the spiritual transformation and empowerment of women through programs, classes, and workshops held at Christ Church Cathedral, Dallas, TX.

Christ and Buddha Yahoo Group
This list is designed for the exploration of the resonance between the teachings of Jesus the Christ and the Buddha. With several hundred members, the list explores similarities of concepts and realizations found in the ancient Theravada Buddhist canonical suttas, the beloved Mahayana Buddhist sutras, and the Tao Te Ching with the heart of the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene as preserved in the Christian gospels.

Christian Buddhist Dialogue Group
An international online group for dialogue among Christians and Buddhists who feel that, for one reason or another, their lives are enhanced by aspects of both traditions. They discuss the similarities and differences between Christianity and Buddhism. In over 7 years this listserve has seen 10,000 messages exchanged.

Christian Buddhist Support Group
An online group for people who are practicing both Christianity and Buddhism. It aims to be a safe, respectful, private place of mutual support for individuals who are exploring how to follow both religions. Members of the group are encouraged to tell their stories and share their spiritual practice of being a Christian Buddhist.

Christian Zen Message Board at Beliefnet
A discussion area for Buddhism in America, and how it interfaces with the Christian experience.

Christianity Meets Buddhism (page 1)
This article appeared in the Viewer’s Guide of PBS’ “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly” show. The author interviewed our own John Malcomson, and cites Lotus and Lily in Seattle as an example of a Buddhist-Christian dual practice group.

Christianity Meets Buddhism (page 2)

East West Contemplative Dialogue
An Oregon publisher concerned with the intersection of Christian mysticism and metaphysics with Buddhism (and Hinduism). A wonderful source of essays, books, videos, and audiotapes on the East West Dialogue.

East West Meditation at Mercy Center
Located in Burlingame, California, Mercy Center’s Meditation Program is known for its blending of Eastern spirituality with the Center’s Christian foundations. The Program was founded by Father Thomas Hand, a Jesuit who combines Ignatian meditation and Christian contemplation with Zen meditation.

Empty Bell
The Empty Bell is a contemplative sanctuary in Massachusetts dedicated to the study and practice of Christian meditation and prayer. Its purpose is to learn about the history and practice of the Christian contemplative way as rooted in the Gospels, and to explore its common ground with other ancient Wisdom teachings. It gives special attention to the Christian-Buddhist dialogue, to artistic expression of spiritual insight, and to the relationship between spirituality and stewardship of the bio-diverse natural world.

European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies
An international network established to promote mutual understanding, practical co-operation, study at academic level, and interchange and friendship between Christians and Buddhists in study and dialogue. They sponsor a biennial conference in Europe.

Evolutionary Christianity
Evolutionary Christianity is an integral vision of the Christian faith that honors biblical and traditional understandings, conservative and liberal, while enthusiastically embracing an evolutionary worldview. It sees the entire history of Cosmos and emergent complexity of matter, life, consciousness, culture, and technology in a sacred, God-glorifying way. It’s a passionate and unabashedly all-embracing, ecological, deep-time honoring, and prophetic/evangelistic celebration of the Christian tradition that frames the idea of God as “all that is”–a vision resonant with the Buddhist point of view.

Father Willigis Jaeger
Website of Father Willigis Jaeger, a German Benedictine monk, Christian mystic, and Zen master. It includes a number of interesting sermons, including “How Zen Has Changed My Christian Self-Understanding.” Jaeger was silenced by the Vatican because of his deep involvement in Buddhism. He now teaches his brand of spirituality at the Bavarian “Center for Spiritual Paths” retreat center–which is housed in Benediktushof, a complex dating from the 8th century and originally established as a Benedictine monastery.

Fruit Salad Can Be Delicious: The Practice of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
An article in CrossCurrents magazine discussing how interreligious dialogue needs to include practical issues that confront all human beings whatever their religious labels. Written by Paul O. Ingram, Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University and Past President of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies.

A blog (nested within a Pureland Buddhist website) that discusses Buddhist-Christian Christian-Buddhist themes.

Interreligious book reviews and articles
This page (from the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue website) has links to dozens of book reviews and articles written by Christian monastics. All focus on the topic of Buddhism.

Japan Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
Its aim from the start, as the Japan Chapter of the broader “East-West Religions Project” has been to promote East-West interreligious dialogue at the doctrinal level (philosophical and theological). It collaborates closely with the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies based in the United States.

Los Angeles Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue
The Los Angeles Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue began in 1989 and is sponsored by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California and the Catholic Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. It was formed as an official, on-going, core group dialogue. Meetings are held every six to eight weeks, rotating between Buddhist and Catholic locations.

Lotus and Lily Buddhist-Christian Study and Practice Group
An independent group in Seattle, Washington, that gathers for silent meditation, study, and discussion of Buddhist-Christian writings (see their bibliography on this website). Their meetings are alternately held at a Tibetan Buddhist shrine room and at an American Baptist church. The group explores what it means to be “Buddhist-Christian,” and how to create a liturgy that integrates both Christian and Buddhist practices–such as chant.

Lotus and Lily Field Notes
Personal reflections on the Buddhist-Christian journey by Joseph H. Anderson, a member of Seattle’s Lotus and Lily Buddhist-Christian Study and Practice group. It explores Buddhist view, Christian practice. [hey! that’s me]

Meetingbrook “Dogen & [St.] Francis” Hermitage
As lay contemplatives interested in monastic spirituality East/West, this Camden, Maine, group is rooted in Christian contemplative tradition. They conjoin Judeo-Christian prayer and Buddhist Zen meditation–and the study and engaged service that flows from these practices. Their community offers opportunities for retreat, meditation, bookgroups, and conversation.

Morning Star Zendo
Founded by Robert Kennedy, S.J., Roshi, a Jesuit priest and Zen teacher in the White Plum lineage. (See the Buddhist-Christian Reading list on this website for titles of his books.) The zendo reflects and builds upon Kennedy’s deep respect for and knowledge of Buddhism. It carries out the principles laid out in the Jesuit statement on mission and interreligious dialogue, which demands that Jesuits be not only familiar with the thought of men and women of other religious traditions, but be immersed with them in theological exchange and in a dialogue of life, action, and religious experience. The zendo is located in Jersey City, NJ, and offers sitting meditation sessions Monday through Thursday. It also sponsors numerous sesshins (retreats) led by Kennedy.

Naropa University’s March 2005 Buddhist-Christian Dialogues Conference
“Contemplation, Practice, and the Crossroads of Spirit” was a historic reunion of several members of the ground-breaking Buddhist-Christian dialogues that took place at Naropa Institute in the 1980s. This weekend offered both an opportunity to evaluate the impact interfaith dialogue has had over the last 20-plus years and to look ahead to the emerging landscape of this practice.

National Catholic Reporter article on Catholics Practicing Zen Buddhist Meditation
So ancient and so new – a personal account of participating in Zen Buddhist sitting meditation. The article also discusses a number of Catholics who have been involved in Zen meditation. December 3, 1999 by Pamela Schaeffer

Order of Nazorean Essenes: A Buddhist Branch of Original Christianity
The Order of Nazorean Essenes considers itself a Buddhist branch of original Christianity. The form of Buddhism espoused by the Order is not mainstream Buddhism however.

Profile of the International Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter
Founded in 1984, one of the longest sustained forms of dialogue between Buddhists and Christians. Annually a parallel theological or doctrinal theme (such as Ultimate Reality: God or Nirvana; Material Existence: Creation or Maya; the Path of Transformation: Conversion or Enlightenment; the Founding Figure: Jesus or Buddha; and the Religious Community: Church or Sangha) is choosen and discussed by scholars over a three-day meeting. The ground rule is that all those invited are not simply scholars of the faith they represent, but committed practitioners. Proceedings are published in the Buddhist-Christian Studies Journal.

Redemptorist Renewal Center and the Pathless Path Program
The Pathless Path Program was founded by Father Pat Hawk Roshi, a Roman Catholic priest and Zen Master, who studied under Fr. Willigis Jaeger (OSB). It is is dedicated to the practice of silent meditation as found in the traditions of both Christian contemplation and Zen Buddhism. Check the retreats calendar for contemplative events, and Seven Thunder’s Residential training periods lead by Pat Hawk at this Redemptorist Renewal Center (aka Picture Rocks Retreat) in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert near Tucson.

Seven Thunders
This Oregon group organizes regular meditation sits, as well as Contemplative Intensive Retreats and Zen Sesshin. For guidance they look to teachers from the Christian contemplative tradition as interpreted by Benedictine Father Willigis Jaeger (see above), and from the Zen Buddhist tradition of the Diamond Sangha.

Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
Founded in 1987, the Society is an organization for those committed to study, reflection, interchange, and practice arising out of the Buddhist-Christian encounter. The Society co-sponsors major international conferences approximately every four years in conjunction with various academic and religious institutions. It also meets annually for two days just to the annual national meeting of the American Academy of Religion. The Society publishes the “Buddhist-Christian Studies Journal” as well as a newsletter.

Son-Christianity Blog
This blog (which introduces a “New Yet Ancient Approach to Christianity”) is inspired by the Jesus Sutras (Chinese manuscripts dating from between 635 and 1005 CE). The sutras contain Christian teachings brought to China during the 7th century, where they took on a Taoist/Buddhist flavor. The blog is written by a hospital chaplain living near Tampa, FL, who views the Jesus Sutras as the prototypical encounter of Buddhism with Christianity. One day he hopes to create a church modeled on Son[Zen]-Christianity as informed by the Jesus Sutras.

The Lotus and the Cross: Common Threads in Christian and Buddhist Spirituality
A web page featuring many Buddhist-Christian parallels, including parallels between the Buddha and St. Francis of Assisi. The page is maintained by Jon Zuck, a Catholic who studies Zen with Kitabu Roshi.

Walking a Buddhist-Christian Path at St. Ignatius College Prep
William Haardt, a Catholic religious studies teacher at St. Ignatius College Prep, San Francisco, describes how Buddhism enhances his personal experience as a Christian, as well as the World’s Wisdom course that he teaches.

Wikipedia article on Christianity and Buddhism
An exploration of parallels and connections between Christianity and Buddhism, including historical interactions, a chart of parallel sayings, maps, and further readings. Because of the controversial nature of this article (see Wikipedia discussion page) editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled.