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Taking Jesus Seriously

Buddhist Meditation For Christians

Author(s): John Cowan

ISBN13: 9780814627587

ISBN10: 0814627587


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  • The words of Jesus as authenticated by modern Scripture scholarship become clearer when matched to the practices and insights of Buddhist meditation. Taking Jesus Seriously offers a Christian way to implement the words of Jesus, using insight meditation or "vipassana" to look inside what stands between us and seeing the Kingdom of God spread before us. The book is meant to be read over twelve weeks while practicing daily meditation for twenty to thirty minutes.

  • John Cowan

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    Cowans work contributes a perspective of radical Christianity to the growing number of books dealing with the interaction of Buddhism and Christianity. His is the Christ of the Jesus Seminars, stripped down to revolutionary, life-changing sayings and stories, and his Christianity is correspondingly light on traditional doctrines, since some historical doctrines flow from gospel sayings deemed inauthentic in this view. He offers a similarly slimmed-down version of Buddhism that makes concessions to Western meditators who need a goal to motivate them to sit on a meditation cushion to attain liberation from goal-seeking. He thereby softens some of the paradoxical power of Buddhisms noble insight about desire as a cause of suffering, even while nodding to it. Yet his understanding of essential Christianity is bracing enough in its insistence on Jesus challenge not to do business as usual but to everything and follow him. Question-and-answer sections at the end of each chapter strive sincerely to give plain-language help. Given the books Christian emphasis, the author should have made some effort to examine contemplative prayer for Christians seeking the direct path to God. ("It may be my limitations," he writes in begging off fuller discussion of it.) The authors conversational diction is free of mystical fog, though some may find its familiarity annoying at times ("Life is going to be hard, Sweet Pea"). This book could help some Christians get beyond preconceptions about Buddhism and Jesus.

    - Publishers Weekly


Taking Jesus Seriously

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