Tag: Buddhism

Promoting a holistic dialogue between Jesuits and Buddhists

Jesuits from different parts of the world gathered in Cambodia recently to dialogue with Buddhist monks, engaging them on three levels – academic, spiritual and practical. This holistic approach to inter-religious dialogue is one that has prevailed in the regular Christian-Buddhist Workshop of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific for many years. It also provides an opportunity for “networking, friendship and fellowship among Jesuits engaged in Buddhist studies and dialogue,” as first time participant Fr Jaroslav Duraj, a Polish Jesuit based in Macau, discovered. This year’s workshop, held from August 8 to 12 in Siem Reap, saw 16 Jesuits come from Korea, Philippines, United States, Japan, India, China, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar. They were joined by four Cambodian Buddhist monks, a former Jesuit and Buddhist activist, a former Buddhist monk and a Maryknoll priest. Meditation and chanting with Buddhist monks at Wat Svayromeath Fr Jerry Cusumano SJ from Sophia University in Japan presented on Zen and Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola, showing how Zen and the Spiritual Exercises complement rather than contradict each other. Fr Bernard Senecal SJ from Sogang University, South Korea spoke about “Christ as the Awakened One”, describing Buddhism and Christianity as religions of awakening. He pointed to Christ’s mystical experiences, times of prayer and docility to the Holy Spirit as evidence of his enlightenment. Fr Thierry Meynard SJ from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China presented on “Beyond Religious Exclusivism: The Jesuit Attacks against Buddhism and Xu Dashou’s Refutation of 1623”, examining the dynamics of……