Compassion and Meditation : The Spiritual Dynamic Between Buddhism and Christianity by Jean-Yves Leloup (2009, Paperback)

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Compassion and Meditation

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: July 2009
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Format: Paperback , 165pp
  • ISBN-13:
  • ISBN:
  • Edition Description: Original



“Jean-Yves Leloup is that rare Christian who has mined the spiritual depths and mysteries of Christianity. His Christianity is neither staid nor boring, but alive and deep, fresh and ancient. Buddhism takes on new meaning in this context so that we learn how the wisdom of each tradition, East and West, allows the Great Mystery to become grounded in our own being and from there into active compassion to our broken world.”
--Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing, A New Reformation, and One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

In Asian spiritual traditions the mountain traditionally symbolizes meditation while the ocean signifies compassion. Jean-Yves Leloup uses this metaphor to compare Buddhist and Christian approaches to meditation and compassion to reveal the similarities and divergences of these profound practices. Emphasizing their complementary nature, Leloup describes how Jesus and Buddha are necessary to one another and how together they form a complete system: Jesus as awakening through love, and Buddha as awakening through meditation. Where Buddha represents the forests, Jesus represents the trees. Buddha is brother to the universe, whereas Jesus is brother to humanity.

Nevertheless, these two religious traditions have a profound common ground. Compassion is, in fact, central to Buddhism, and meditation practices have been central to many Christian traditions. Both view murder, theft, and the destructive use of sexuality as great barriers to realizing our essential being, and both agree on the need to rise above them. Here, however, Leloup suggests that both faiths could benefit from the precepts of the other. The complementary aspects of Christianity and Buddhism offer the possibility for a truly profound ecumenical religion whose interfaith relations are based on deep understanding of the true meaning and practice of meditation and compassion and not merely shared goodwill.

JEAN-YVES LELOUP is a theologian, French Orthodox priest, Coptic translator, and founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists. His other books in English include the bestselling The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip, Judas and Jesus, and The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary. He lives in France.

Library Journal

Leloup's book has less to do with the profound and thorough mutual interpenetration of Buddhist and Christian traditions than does Knitter's Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian (reviewed above); it has more to do with the utility of some aspects of Buddhist practice and tradition for the convinced Christian. Leloup (Judas and Jesus), a French Orthodox priest, founder of the International College of Therapists, and translator of Coptic texts, duly compares Hesychasm (the Orthodox practice of interior prayer) with Buddhist meditation and aspects of Jesus with aspects of the Buddha, with remarkably little result. VERDICT An original if limited venture toward Buddhism by an Orthodox priest; worth consideration for an interfaith readership if budget permits.


Jean-Yves Leloup is a theologian and founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists. His books include Jesus and Judas, The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Philip, and The Gospel of Thomas. He lives in France.


Compassion and Meditation : The Spiritual Dynamic Between Buddhism and Christianity


ISBN: 1594772770

EAN: 9781594772771

Category: Religion / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice/Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity/

Publisher: Inner Traditions International, Limited

Release Date: 08/31/2009

Synopsis: A profound reflection on how complementary themes in Buddhism and Christianity could serve as the basis for a truly ecumenical faith, this book shows how Buddha and Jesus represent the distinct yet complementary values of meditation and compassion.

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