Zen Catholicism : A suggestion by Dom Aelfred Graham
New York : Harcourt, Brace & World, 1963. First Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 228 pages ; 22 cm. Price clipped dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
DOM AELRED GRAHAM
This candid and beautifully written book on the meeting of East and West offers wise and significant insights into the life of the spirit.
Dom Aelred Graham, a Benedictine monk, educator, and writer, has reflected here upon Zen Buddhism and Catholicism—usually considered divergent in their rituals and their philosophies—and has found many points of contact between them.
Dom Graham, however, objects eloquently and forcefully to the weaknesses of Zen: its corruption as bohemian cult-ism, the claims of the mystics to identification with the Ultimate Self or God, the moral indifference that may express itself in uninhibited self-indulgence. But Zen has strengths, too, and he urges Westerners in general, and Catholics in particular, with their emphasis on theology and action, to learn enlightened serenity from the Zen experience of moderation. He believes the psychological and spiritual insights of Catholicism are even deeper than those of Zen, but that many Catholics have failed to find them. Often they have confined their religion to ritual, catechism, and dogma, and lived burdened with guilt and a sense of alienation.
The harmony that Zen reminds us lies at the heart of religion could bring the restless West freedom from unnecessary anxiety and a new awareness of the peace of God.
About the Author:
The Very Reverend Dom Aelred Graham, O.S.B., is Prior of the Benedictine Community and head of the Governing Body of the school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He was born in Liverpool in 1907. He became a Benedictine monk in 1930, spent four years at Oxford, and received the S.T.L. degree from the English Dominicans at Blackfriars in 1937. He has traveled and lectured in Canada and the United States. He has contributed to The Atlantic Monthly, The Commonweal, and other publications, both British and American. He is the author of The Love of God, The Christ of Catholicism, The Final Victory, Catholicism and the World Today, and Christian Thought and Action.
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