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Thread: Other Stephen Batchelor Book

  1. #1

    Other Stephen Batchelor Book

    I am slowly building my Buddhist library. Ran into this book at a local used bookstore:


    Any care to give a short review? I wasn't aware he had written a historical book on Buddhism.

  2. #2

    Re: Other Stephen Batchelor Book

    If I recall correctly (and I may not) ... the book was written in the period that he had moved from Tibetan Buddhism to Korean Son (Zen) and then was in transition ... and may not represent the full development of the "Buddhism without Beliefs" Stephen Batchelor of a few years later ... I believe it was written after "Faith to Doubt" and before "Buddhism without Beliefs".

    Please write a review when you have read it.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: Other Stephen Batchelor Book

    Thanks for the info! I hadn't thought about it from that pov.
    Now...to buy the book. :P

  4. #4

    Re: Other Stephen Batchelor Book

    Not a review, but one initial observation as I bought this book yesterday.... :wink:

    I re-read your comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    If I recall correctly (and I may not) ... the book was written in the period that he had moved from Tibetan Buddhism to Korean Son (Zen) and then was in transition ... and may not represent the full development of the "Buddhism without Beliefs" Stephen Batchelor of a few years later ... I believe it was written after "Faith to Doubt" and before "Buddhism without Beliefs". [..]
    and these words jived yesterday when I perused the book when compared to the subtitle of the book:

    "The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture."

    The Awakening of the West is a beautifully written history of the encounter of Buddhism with the West during the past 2,000 years [..]
    History. Encounter. These words stuck out.

    When I buy used books, I always love to check the vintage year :mrgreen: aka year of copyright. For this book, 1994.

    It still didn't click for me even though obviously it had been printed 16 years ago.

    I went to the last page.

    Postcript
    The Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, south Africa. Thursday, 31 December 1992. On this, the last day of my alloted timespan for this book, I am in another hemisphere from that in which the
    And then 1992 hit me. I was in college. Sophomore year. Our computer lab only consisted of computers for doing computing projects and printing. Nothing more. By 1994, I had graduated and the computer lab changed by adding a new service component:

    Internet--Wiki

    Although the basic applications and guidelines that make the Internet possible had existed for almost two decades, the network did not gain a public face until the 1990s. On 6 August 1991, CERN, a pan European organization for particle research, publicized the new World Wide Web project. The Web was invented by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW, patterned after HyperCard and built using the X Window System. It was eventually replaced in popularity by the Mosaic web browser. In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released version 1.0 of Mosaic, and by late 1994 there was growing public interest in the previously academic, technical Internet. By 1996 usage of the word Internet had become commonplace, and consequently, so had its use as a synecdoche in reference to the World Wide Web.

    Meanwhile, over the course of the decade, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of previously existing public computer networks (although some networks, such as FidoNet, have remained separate). During the 1990s, it was estimated that the Internet grew by 100 percent per year, with a brief period of explosive growth in 1996 and 1997.[6] This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary open nature of the Internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents any one company from exerting too much control over the network.[7] The estimated population of Internet users is 1.67 billion as of June 30, 2009.[8]
    Then it hit me. That's the missing chapter or follow up book.

    Internet as a tool for networking and information. The ongoing encounter, as Batchelor writes, between Western culture and Buddhism. Bulletin boards now forums, available sutta texts, Buddhist blogs, downloadable mp3 Dhamma talks, official schools with their official web pages, pdf articles, skype teacher-student talks, video instructions and documentaries, web pages to keep the sangha informed, internet sanghas!...and much more.

    18 years have passed by since Batchelor wrote his last chapter in that book. Not sure how many chapters 18 years would cover, but Batchelor does close his book with this thought:

    with a bemused chuckle, I no more see the future than [Henri de Lubac] could then. It would be arrogant and foolish even to hazard a guess at the state of Buddhism in another decade, let alone forty years hence, in 2032.
    And we write that chapter each day.

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