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From Greek kings to nineteenth-century adventurers, from missionaries to monks, the encounter of Buddhism and the West is filled with intriguing personalities in Awaking of the West.
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Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions. He has translated Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" and is the author of "Alone with Others", "The Faith to Doubt", "The Tibet Guide", "The Awakening of the West", "Buddhism without Beliefs", and" Verses from the Center". He is a contributing editor of "Tricycle" magazine, a guiding teacher at Gaia House Retreat Centre, and cofounder of Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Inquiry in Devon, England. He lives in southwest France and lectures and conducts meditation retreats worldwide.From Library Journal:
Unlike Rick Fields, whose How the Swans Came to the Lake (Shambhala, 1992. 3d ed.) focuses on American Buddhism, ex-Buddhist monk Batchelor (The Faith To Doubt, LJ 2/1/90) examines a broader canvas, surveying 2000 years of Western history. He finds but a handful of Europeans who were directly impressed by Buddhism; only during the last 150 years did any tangible "awakening" occur. While erudite, Batchelor's coverage is diffuse and uneven. Thus, while his chapter on Russian Buddhism is a captivating study of Kalmucks, reincarnated lamas, Stalinist purges, and perestroikan revival, his dismissal of theosophist Elena Blavatsky and painter Nicholas Roerich as "romantic fantasizers" is questionable. Urging Western modifications of Buddhist practice, Batchelor downplays the guru factor that produced an unbroken lineage from Gautama Buddha. Recommended for large collections only.
Dara Eklund, Los Angeles P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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