1. In Search of the Christian Buddha

    October 8, 2018

    In their comprehensive study of the Buddha’s appropriation by Muslim and Christian believers, In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage became a Medieval Saint, Donald S. Lopez Jr., the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, and Peggy McCracken, translator of Gui de Cambrai’s Barlaam and Josaphat and professor of French and women’s studies, trace the story’s circuitous pilgrimage and consider the duality that shaped its trans-religious appeal. Ultimately, the authors explore an unwitting dialogue between great religions, illuminating their surprising similarities as well as their stark differences.

    Through a definitive comparison of the tale’s various iterations, spanning more than 2,000 years of religious and cultural history, In Search of the Christian Buddha reveals common human values but also details a legacy of conflict and intolerance. It is, in a sense, a story of missed opportunities, of a universal truth hidden in the potency of one ancient story.