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I've heard about this in several places, but I can't understand how these two things can collocate with each other. These two philosophical systems are too different to be merged, aren't they?

  • There is a book by Toshiko Izutsu that looks at parallels between Islamic Philosophy (Sufism) and Taoism; so there is at least one precedent; a few centuries earlier the Mughal Emperor Akbar advocated a fusion between Islam and Hinduism - two very different systems. – Mozibur Ullah Jul 18 '15 at 11:33
  • What are these "several places" you refer to? – James Kingsbery Jul 20 '15 at 15:20
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    With a link proving such a thing exists, you can ask this question on christianity.stackexchange.com – 10479 Jul 21 '15 at 3:20
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    I think, honestly, you could probably take nicer answer at the place where Mr/Ms. fredsbend suggests?? – Kentaro Jul 21 '15 at 15:54
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( Sorry, I didn't notice you changed the content of your question completely.

Please read about him. His name is Hugo Makibi Enomiya-Lassalle, a German Jisuit, as well as a Zen Master ( of Soto-Shu group ). Since I am not or can not master all the core ideas of all groups of Zen Buddhists, let me answer with the assistance of Wiki ( mostly from my mother tongue's site. ( English Wiki is too short ))

According to the "source", he is considered one of the foremost and prominent and possibly the first one to have established Zen-Christianity as an organization ( kindly see the foundation he built in Switzerland ( sorry no English site ))

Firstly, be reminded he was a German citizen when Imperial Japan was an axis power at that time. So that he went there in order to spread Christianity by the order of Germany Jesuits.

From the source

ラッサールの禅に対する関心の因って来るところは、キリスト教伝道に際してまず日本人の伝統的な霊性を知る必要性があったからであり、いわゆる「人を見て法を説け」というわけである

Translated :

Why Lassale became interested in Zen was because when he tried to spread Christianity, he considered he needed to know the Japanese thinking to the religion. In another words, "Before you teach, know the person".

Then after that ( from the source )

しかし体験的に禅の精神に触れてみると、ラッサールは黙想や観想といったキリスト教的修徳法と共通するものをそこに感じ、完全な自己放棄によって神と人との合一を目指すキリスト教神秘主義思想にいう注賦的観想(受動的な脱魂状態に至って神のビジョンを直接受け取ること)への精神的な準備として、坐禅が非常に効果的だと思うようになっていった[29]。長きにわたる宗教的伝統によって高度にマニュアル化された禅の修法が[30]、物質的な豊かさに振り回される現代人にとっては優れた実践的瞑想法だと思ったのである[20]。

Translated :

But as he actually started practicing Zen, he felt Zen has the same concepts that match with those of Christianity, namely, Meditation, Contemplation. He thought "abandoning" the "self" was the effective way and the "first stage" to acquire the "undoing one's soul receptively" "in order to receive the vision of God directly" in Christianity. He took the Zen's highly arranged methods through its long history to obtain the core idea was the most adequate path for the "materially affluent" modern people.

But his thought was,

ラッサールは日本国内外で禅とキリスト教の接合を目指した論文や著作を発表しており、そのためカトリック教会内部からは快く思われず、高位聖職者からの異論を受けることもあったが[24]、キリスト教カトリシズムの現代化に基づいて諸宗教との相互理解に積極的に踏み出した第2バチカン公会議(1962年-1965年)以降、そのような批判も下火となり、ラッサールは日本国内だけでなく日本国外でも広くキリスト教関係者に対して参禅を勧め、自ら指導するようになってゆく


Up until around 1962-1965, when the Second Vatican Council was held, his thought and his books, which tried to unite Zen with Christianity had not been welcomed by the orthodox Catholic church, even high ranking clergymen criticized him. But after around when the Council was held, his idea began to be gradually accommodated by people and criticisms began to vanish, he started spreading Zen-Christianity not only in Japan but broadly abroad too, especially preaching his ideas to Christians.

I am afraid what I can do is only around here. There are another explanations, but they are highly religious so that I will not be able to translate adequately probably ( since I felt the difficulty of the translation above. )

Have a nice day.

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