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The Buddha and the Christ: Explorations in Buddhist and Christian Dialogue (Faith Meets Faith)
Both Buddhism and Christianity have enjoyed widespread success as missionary religions,transforming entire cultures with their spirit and being themselves transformation in the process. Both have flourished over many; centuries in a wide variety of regions and cultures and political and social systems. While Buddhism has taken a wide variety of forms in different; countries and while
Buddhists have disagreed on many points of interpretation, they are united in their veneration of Siddhartha Gautama, who became Shakyamuni Buddha. The account of his life is perhaps the most accessible way to enter into the meaning of Buddhist life. Christian history has also been marked by wide variety and by intense doctrinal disputes rich have contested almost every possible issue concerning the significance of Jesus Christ. While Christians have often disagreed bitterly with each other over many central questions of interpreting their tradition, Christians agree in honoring the name and memory of Jesus Christ.
Examining the lives of these two remarkable figures in relation to each other is an important aspect of dialogue, for the narratives of each figure set a tone for all that follows. The lives of the two leaders play a number of differing roles in their later respective traditions. While both traditions acknowledge that it is impossible to state absolute truth literally, they both look to the lives of the Buddha and the
Christ as concrete embodiments of the truth they taught. The narratives of the lives of Shakyamuni
Buddha and Jesus Christ serve as unifying threads through the histories of their respective traditions, as normative models of thought and action.
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