Modern Trends in World Religions

Modern Trends in World Religions

Modern Trends in World Religions

Modern Trends in World Religions

Excerpt

by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki

My relationship with Dr. Paul Cams started through my teacher, Shaku Sō, who attended the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. The coming of Shaku Sōyen to America was a great event for the Buddhists in Japan, because never before had Japanese Buddhists been represented at an international and interreligious gathering of that kind. In those days, Buddhism was viewed, even in Europe, as an unusual religion, studied primarily as a subject of scholarly inquiry. In America it was largely due to the effort of Dr. Carus that the study of Buddhism became popular. I might add that Dr. Carus was not interested in the Sanskrit texts of Mahayana Buddhism or the Pali texts of the Theravada Buddhists from the linguistic standpoint. For example, his book, The Gospel of Buddha, was compiled chiefly from the translations then in existence. Nevertheless, he endeavored to grasp the spirit of Buddhism; in this task he was eminently successful.

In retrospect, we might say that the World Parliament of Religions added a certain glamour to the Chicago World's Fair by bringing together variously robed representatives of different religious groups on a common . . .

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