The Universality of the Qur’an / KJV Theology / Shin Buddhism

This week we have three new additions to our library: a talk by Martin Lings on The Universality of the Qur’an, recorded by the Temenos Academy in London, October 2003, followed by an interesting round of questions and answers:

When did God ever send a religion which was not a religion of truth? Did He ever send a religion of falsehood? … The Qur’an by its universality proclaims that God has not neglected any section of the world from the point of view of religion, that each part of the world has been given a religion that suited it best.

In our Christianity section, we have an interesting lecture by Archbishop Rowan Williams on the theological issues raised by the translation of scriptures in general, and the King James Version of the Bible in particular. How can theology make sense of the apparent discord between traditions which in their reverent attachment to one sacred language do away with translations, and those which have depended on translations, at times even “inspired” translations, to exist from early times? Dr Williams’ insightful reflections shed some light on this difficult issue. Follow this link to read more.

Finally, thanks to World Wisdom books, we are offering access to two excerpts from a classic on Shin (or “Pure Land”) Buddhism: Naturalness, by Japanese author Kenryo Kanamatsu. This little gem has long been recognised as a beautiful and penetrating introduction to the teachings, practice and spiritual “climate” of the Pure Land:

…shut up within the narrow walls of our limited self, we lose our simplicity and turn a deaf ear to the call welling up from the inmost depths of our heart. We are not quite conscious of our inherent long­ing, for it is hidden under so many layers of pride and self-deception. Just as we are not ordinarily conscious of the air, so we are apt to overlook the claims of the heart demanding our foremost attention.