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Comparative Religion
We have carefully selected some of the best books on Comparative Religion, with an emphasis on books that focus on similarities.
The Message That Comes From Everywhere
Exploring the Common Core of the World's Religions and Modern Science
by Gary Beckwith
This is the book published by the Harmony Institute. Read all about it here.

Forgotten Truth : The Common Vision of the World's Religions
by Huston Smith
This classic companion to The World's Religions articulates the remarkable unity that underlies the world's religious traditions--with a new preface by the author.

Essential Unity of All Religions
by Bhagavan Das
This book was instrumental in my research and writing of The Message That Comes From Everywhere. My wife knew about the research I was doing and noticed the book in a used bookstore one day and brought it home. You may notice that there are dozens of footnotes attributed to this book in my book, and as well, I begin Chapter 1 of my book with the Story of the Blind Men and the Elephant, which I found at the very end of this book.
Although the author's writing style is a little scattered, the information in this book is incredibly valuable to anyone investigating the similarities between the world's religions.
This book was written in 1932 and is currently out of print. However, if you click on the link, Amazon usually has a used copy available.

The World's Religions
by Huston Smith
First published in 1958, this book remains an excellent guide to the world's major religions.

Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers
Thich Nhat Hanh
Did you know that Jesus meditated? In Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh delivered a powerhouse bestseller about the affinities of Buddhist and Christian ideals. In Going Home, he focuses on fundamental concepts that still drive a wedge between the two religions--such as rebirth vs. eternal life, God vs. nirvana, and so on. After praising the differences between Christianity and Buddhism, Nhat Hanh proceeds to dissolve them in virtuosic style. Not only did Jesus meditate, he says, but God is equivalent to nirvana. This effort to free us from limiting concepts is Nhat Hanh's way of paving a road back to Christianity for Christians who have been attracted to Buddhism but alienated from their original faith. In effect, Nhat Hanh is dressing up Christianity in the garb of philosophical Buddhism, which isn't too far off from what certain progressive Christian thinkers have themselves done in different terms. Mindfulness engenders concentration, concentration leads to understanding, understanding strengthens faith, and faith provides the energy to practice mindfulness. More conventional Christians may balk at this blending of traditions, but for many lost souls, it will be a beacon back to a warm hearth.

Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh
If you have always assumed that Christianity and Buddhism are as far apart philosophically as their respective founders were geographically, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. In this national bestseller, Zen monk and social activist Thich Nhat Hanh draws parallels between these two traditions that have them walking, hand in hand, down the same path to salvation. In Christianity, he finds mindfulness in the Holy Spirit as an agent of healing. In Buddhism, he finds unqualified love in the form of compassion for all living things. And in both he finds an emphasis on living practice and community spirit.

Transcendent Unity of Religions
Frithjof Schuon

Jesus and Buddha : The Parallel Sayings
by Marcus Borg (Editor)
Jesus and Buddha were separated by five hundred years, three thousand miles, and two drastically different cultures. Yet this TP edition of the highly acclaimed hardback juxtaposes passages from the New Testament and ancient Buddhist scriptures to illuminate the striking similarity between their lives, deeds, and teachings.

Jesus and Lao Tzu : The Parallel Sayings
by Martin Aronson (Editor)
As theologians and individual seekers alike probe deeper into the world of spirituality, they are finding more and more parallels between Christianity and Eastern philosophy. Comparing the New Testament with the Tao Te Ching, Taoism's most sacred teachings, Jesus and Lao Tzu features astonishing examples of these two spiritual masters leading their followers down the same path despite vast differences in time and geography. Reading these sayings side by side brings a new perspective to the time-honored teachings and presents shared universal truths of human existence that transcend traditional religious boundaries. "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." - Jesus; "The sage puts himself last and finds himself in the foremost place." - Lao Tzu.

The Zen Teachings of Jesus
by Kenneth S. Leong

Living Religions
by Mary Pat Fisher
In the introduction to my book, I tell the story of how the book began as a term paper for a college course called Religions of the World. This was the text book for that course. This book is not really a comparative religion book; there is a separate chapter devoted to each religion. However it is very well written, easy to understand, and it has great illustrations as well.

More coming soon!

= Gary Beckwith's comments

= This book was suggested by a Friend of the Harmony Institute.

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