208 pages, 9.6 × 6.2 × 0.95 in
October 30, 2012
Crown Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385525052
ISBN - 13: 9780385525053
Read from the Book
LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE 1956, The First Opening When I was growing up in Tibet, and especially after my serious engagement in studies of classical Buddhist thought and practice from the age of fifteen, I used to feel that my own Buddhist religion was the best. I thought that there simply could not be any other faith tradition that could rival the depth, sophistication, and inspirational power of Buddhism. Other religions must, at best, be “so-so.” Looking back, I feel embarrassed by my naïveté, although it was the view of an adolescent boy immersed in his own inherited religious tradition. Yes, I was vaguely aware of the existence of a great world religion called Christianity that propounds the way of salvation through the life of its savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, as a child I had heard the story of how some Christian priests had once established a mission in western Tibet in the seventeenth century. There was also a small community of Tibetan Muslims right up until modern times, who had lived in Lhasa city for over four centuries. As for Hindus and Jains, followers of the two other major religions native to India, I was convinced that the philosophical arguments, found in the classical Buddhist critiques of their tenets, had effectively demonstrated the superiority of the Buddhist faith centuries ago. Needless to say such naïveté could be sustained only so long as I remained isolated from any real contact with the world’s other religions. The first time I had any direct co
From the Publisher
No country, no culture, no person today is untouched by what happens in the rest of the world. Technological innovation, environmental degradation, economic gain & loss, nuclear weapons, instant communication have all created unprecedented familiarity among the world’s many cultures. With this historic development, the Dalai Lama understands that the essential task of humanity in the 21st Century is to cultivate peaceful coexistence.
Many believe in the inevitability of an escalating “clash of civilizations”. Peaceful coexistence has long been problematic with religion, and while previous conflicts over religious differences may have been significant and regrettable, they did not threaten the very survival of humanity. Now, when extremists can persuade followers with the immense emotional power of faith and have access to powerful technological resources, a single spark could ignite a powder keg of frightening proportions.
Yet the Dalai Lama shows how the challenges of globalization can also move us in another direction, to a deeper plane where nations, cultures, and individuals connect through their shared human nature. All major religions confront the same perennial questions; each have distinct forms of expression. But this marvelous diversity of insight has the potential for inspiring dialogue which can enrich everyone’s pursuit of wisdom. All faith traditions turn to compassion as a guiding principle for living a good life. It is the task of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to affirm the fundamental value of the compassion. In this way we can truly develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths, and on that basis, we can cultivate genuine respect.
In Toward a True Kinship of Faiths, the Dalai Lama also explores where differences between religions can be genuinely appreciated without serving as a source of conflict. The establishment of genuine harmony is not dependent upon accepting that all religions are fundamentally the same or that they lead to the same place. Many fear that recognizing the value of another faith is incompatible with having devotion to the truth of one’s own. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama profoundly shows how a sincere believer can, with integrity, be a pluralist in relation to other religions without compromising commitment to the essence of the doctrinal teachings of their own faith.
An issue of central importance for the Dalai Lama personally and for the entire world in general, Toward a True Kinship of Faiths offers a hopeful yet realistic look at how humanity must step into the future.
About the Author
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. He is a recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Human Rights Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, and the Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Dharamsala, India.