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Summary and book reviews of Going Home by Thich Nhat Hanh

Going Home

Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Going Home
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  • First Published:
    Sep 1999, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2000, 224 pages

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Book Summary

In Going Home, Thich Nhat Hanh (author of Living Buddha, Living Christ) celebrates the life-affirming roots of two disparate spiritual traditions.

In Going Home, Thich Nhat Hanh celebrates the life-affirming roots of two disparate spiritual traditions. As he says, "Redemption and resurrection are neither words nor objects of belief. They are our daily practice. We practice in such a way that Buddha is born every moment of our daily life, that Jesus Christ is born every moment of our daily life."

While Living Buddha, Living Christ further opened the door to dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism, Going Home takes us on a journey into the practice of a revitalized Christianity. In Living Buddha, Living Christ, Buddha and Jesus say hello to each other. In Going Home, they sit down together and have a lengthy conversation. They ask each other for advice. They talk about how they can be united. They demonstrate their theological convergence. They talk about each other's prayers, rituals, and forms of practice. This book is an exquisite guide to establishing deep roots in the traditions into which we are born, a moving reading experience for anyone interested in finding their spiritual home.

Dear friends, today is the twenty-eighth of December 1995, and we are in the Upper Hamlet.

Christmas and New Year's are opportunities for us to go home. In Asia, the Lunar New Year is considered a time for people to go back to their home, their roots. If you are Chinese or Vietnamese, you go back to your family home that day. This is an opportunity for people to see each other again after some time of being apart from each other. During the time they are together, they practice connecting with each other and with their ancestors. To practice going home, to practice getting in touch with our ancestors, is what everyone wants to do on New Year's Day.


Our True Home
When you practice the bell of mindfulness, you breathe in, and you listen deeply to the sound of the bell, and you say, "Listen, listen." Then you breathe out and you say, "This wonderful sound brings me back to my true home. Our true home is something we all want to go back to. Some of us feel we don't ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Despite Hanh's tendency to ignore significant differences between Buddhism and Christianity, his book speaks powerfully about the need for tolerance and love in overcoming those differences.

Kirkus Reviews

Following up on his Living Buddha, Living Christ, Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh's newest book explores the connections between Buddhism and Christianity. In a series of pithy addresses, the author, a Vietnamese monk, considers, inter alia, the similarities between the Christian practice of baptism and the Buddhist practice of taking refuge. Thich Nhat Hanh captures his assessment of the two traditions' compatibility in a culinary metaphor a fan of French cuisine can also love Chinese food. To support his conclusion that there is ``no conflict at all between the Buddha and the Christ in me,'' he sometimes describes Christianity in terms that many Christian readers might not recognize, such as when he asserts that ``all of us are Jesus.'' But the author's overarching point stands in the late 20th century, both Buddhism and Christianity are struggling to maintain meaningful presences in the world. Rather than see each other as antagonists, Buddhists and Christians should learn from each other, and work together in the pursuit of common goals. Sure to appeal to New Age dabblers, but with enough meat to attract serious students as well, this is a valuable addition to the growing literature on these two religious traditions.

Reader Reviews
Persephone Adams

Thich Nhat Hanh is a truly gifted and kind hearted man. I enjoy any book that has the ability to connect people. Eastern and Western views may be stated differently but many of the concepts are quite similar. Hanh sheds light on the beauty of ...   Read More

Gavin Beeker

Thich Nhat Hanh is a beautiful author, writing in almost poetry. Sure, Christianity and Buddhism are very different. But as Thich points out so well in his book, as human beings, Christianity and Buddhism both have beautiful, fulfilling messages that...   Read More

Brian Nguyen

This is the worst book I've read ever in my entire life. The author is just a big liar about what he wrote.

It wastes your time and spoils your mind if you read his book.

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