The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRichard S.Y. Chi
Title QuotedLast of the Patriarchs: The Recorded Sayings of Shen-Hui
Date (Year/Month/Day)1968/05/00
QuotationIt may interest some of you to know that I have recently had a chance to write an introduction to an important book on Zen Buddhism [The Last of the Patriarchs: The Recorded Sayings of Shen-Hui, edited by Richard S. Y. Chi], a series of texts of a Chinese Zen Master, Shen Hui, to be published next year by the University of Indiana Press. As you know I am very interested in dialogue between Christianity and Asian religions, especially Buddhism. Also for almost a year I have been lecturing on Sufism, the mystical side of Islam, to the monks here. It is very revealing. For a long time Christians have too readily assumed that other religions had little "depth." This is entirely wrong. I think today we need to be more aware than we are of the real depth of the other major religions and the "mystical" side of their experience. Especially is this true when in some ways it can be said that the Western trend is toward activism and lack of depth. As one who came thirty years ago to the Catholic Church because I sought something deep and substantial which was not evident in ordinary secular and academic life, I can say it is an illusion for Catholics to try to "appeal" to the world of our time by merely reflecting its own attitudes and obsessions"”especially when the reflection is something like the kind you get in a fun-house mirror. The "world," unfortunately, is just not interested in this, in fact less interested than in the image of a Church that is totally "different." The more I see of certain efforts at creating a "new imag" of the Church, the less I am interested. Genuine progress must take place on a much deeper level"”and will doubtless do so.
JournalThe Road to Joy: Letters to New and Old Friends.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / [S.l.] : Flame. 1990, p. 114
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