World Religions Archive

Zen Buddhism: North Americans Embrace a Contemplative School of Buddhism

Perhaps no Eastern religion is considered more chic and intellectually sophisticated in America today than Zen Buddhism. Offering an autonomous path to mystical enlightenment that does not demand acceptance of Eastern mythology and culture, Zen is well suited for the “post-modern” American. Yet, J. Isamu Yamamoto maintains, Zen is actually an anti-intellectual approach to truth […]

Theravada Buddhism: Southeast Asians Bring Their School of Buddhism to America

Theravada Buddhism- A Summary Theravada Buddhism in North America is primarily associated with Southeast Asian Americans. It is a religious tradition with roots that go far back to the early days of Buddhism 25 centuries ago. Today the religious beliefs of Southeast Asian Americans are quite varied because this group includes peoples with diverse histories […]

Buddhism and Christianity: The Buddha and what He Taught

This article first appeared in the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, Spring 1994. The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here. For further information or to subscribe to the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL go to: Summary In recent years Asian immigration to North America has risen dramatically, and with these […]

I Was a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist For 14 Years

The accident report read, “Cause: Act of God.” I was in a train station in Japan, making a pilgrimage to the head Buddhist temple Daisekiji at the foot of Mount Fuji, when a young man — in perfect English — warned: “Beware the winds of Himeiji!” Three and one-half hours later, I was leaning over […]

Zen and the Art of Not Knowing God

This article first appeared in Christian Research Journal Winter/Spring (1990). The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here. For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: The alarm clock read midnight. I groggily swung my feet onto the knot-holed floor; it creaked […]

The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus

Diana Eck is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University. She is one of the most eminent scholars in the West on Far Eastern religions. I received invaluable insights about Hinduism from her classes in the early eighties. On the dust jacket of The Good Heart (a collection of the Dalai Lama’s […]

Buddhist and Christian Beliefs

A few months ago my mother sent me a monthly newsletter that the San Jose Buddhist church distributes among its members. My mother thought the major article in the newsletter would prove what she had been saying for nearly 30 years — that the differences between Buddhism and Christianity are insignificant compared to what they […]

Yoga Meditation in the Classroom: A Christian Response

The yoga boom is a Trojan horse in which Eastern religion has infiltrated Western secular culture largely under the pretext of a physical exercise regime. Now firmly established, it is working to transform Western society into a postsecular, mystical culture. Furthermore, the Christian subculture is not off limits to the advances of yoga, and its […]

Do Yoga Exercises Work With Christianity?

Susan Bordenkircher, Brooke Boon, and other promoters of “Christian” yoga believe that their approach to yoga is the exception to the rule that Arumugaswami describes. As CRI’s research specialist in Eastern religions for over three decades, I beg to differ. If yoga is inherently unchristian, then no effort to Christianize it can ultimately succeed. Indeed, […]

Is Hatha Yoga Religiously Neutral?

The majority of Christians can be convinced rather easily that raja yoga is incompatible with Christian faith. There is much less consensus when it comes to hatha yoga. Even the most vociferous critic of hatha yoga hardly can deny that the spiritual harm that comes to a Christian who practices it can sometimes be negligible. […]