While process philosophers and theologians have written numerous essays on Buddhist-Christian dialogue, few have sought to expand the current Buddhist-Christian dialogue into a “trilogue” by bringing the natural sciences into the discussion as a third partner. This was the topic of Paul O. Ingram’s previous book, Buddhist-Christian Dialogue in an Age of Science. The thesis of the present work is that Buddhist-Christian dialogue in all three of its forms – conceptual, social engagement, and interior – are interdependent processes of creative transformation. Ingram appropriates the categories of Whitehead’s process metaphysics as a means of clarifying how dialogue is now mutually and creatively transforming both Buddhism and Christianity.
Drawing also on the work of theologian John Hicks and philosopher of science Imre Lakatos, Ingram develops an understanding of Buddhist-Christian dialogue in the context of a religious pluralism that is both open and dynamic and methodologically rigorous. Wide-ranging and full of insight, The Process of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue will be invaluable to scholars and students of comparative religion.
List of Figures
1. That We May Know Each Other
2. The Structure of Buddhist-Christian Conceptual Dialogue
3. Conceptual Dialogue with the Natural Sciences
4. Buddhist-Christian Socially Engaged Dialogue
5. Buddhist-Christian Interior Dialogue
6. Creative Transformation at the Boundaries
Endorsements and Reviews
The Process of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue is many things: Reflections on the historical process of Buddhist-Christian dialogue, the author’s own intellectual process of evolving dialogue, and the vision of dialogue informed by a Whiteheadian view of process. The multifaceted complexity and richness of the work, however, issues from Paul Ingram’s wholehearted engagement with dialogue, not just as a scholar, but as a person. In plumbing the very depths of his own faith, he has been inexorably impelled to examine his life within the larger scope of human and cosmic diversity, to reach beyond any sort of dogmatically predefined boundaries. He is a scholar of Japanese Pure Land thought, East Asian Buddhism, and religion and science, but it is here in The Process of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue that he truly reveals the deep hues of his kaleidoscopic lifework.
Mark Unno, University of Oregon
Ingram offers an insightful, well-structured, and panoramic view of the field of Buddhist-Christian studies, mapping out the conceptual, socially-engaged, and interior dimensions of the dialogue that continue to enrich and expand the horizons of both traditions.
Ruben L.F. Habito, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Ingram makes a strong case for process thought and pluralism as a methodology by which our spiritual journey might be enriched.
Sr Clare Lowe, in Monastic Encounter
The book uses some of the categories of Whitehead’s process metaphysics to analyse contemporary Buddhist-Christian dialogue and this dialogue’s encounter with the natural sciences. … Some of the most useful and useable features of the book are the author’s summaries and clarifications of his use of the terms and ideas he discusses.
Peggy Morgan, in Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol 27 (3)
[Paul O. Ingram’s] discussion on the structure of Buddhist and Christian social engagement is illuminating … Professor Ingram has shown a practical process of Buddhist-Christian dialogue; concerned readers and students will find this book greatly useful.
Daniel Jeyaraj, in Theological Book Review, Vol 24, No 2
This work makes a highly significant contribution to Buddhist-Christian dialog … Many of the ideas of process thought are well worth saying, and Ingram says them well enough. Perhaps we can all learn from the insights of process thought as it takes its place as a dialogical partner.
Barry Linney, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 22, Issue 1