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April 8, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright April 8, 2009. Used by permission.


With the anniversaries of the 1959 (and 2008) Tibetan Uprisings just past, Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism has been much in the news in the past few months. But Buddhism more generally has been popping up in world news. A few readings on the topic…

1) “Six episodes” are distilled from Donald Lopez’s new book Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed at University of Chicago Press’s website. Here’s one:

Although hailed in Victorian Europe for its rejection of the Indian caste system and its championing of the spiritual potential of all social classes, Buddhism also played a role in the science of race during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1914, the Sinhalese Buddhist Anagarika Dharmapala described the Buddha as ”the great Aryan Savior,” while explaining that ”the life of the Nazarene Jew was not of cosmic usefulness.” In 1937, the Chinese Buddhist monk Taixu wrote a letter to Adolf Hitler, recommending Buddhism as the ideal religion for the Aryan race.

Lopez also took the “Page 99 test” on the book for Campaign for the American Reader.

2) Pankaj Mishra did an intriguing interview about “the Buddha in the World” for the NPR show, Speaking of Faith.