The Good Heart

A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus

Edited by Robert Kiely / Introduction by Laurence Freeman / Translated by Thupten Jinpa Ph.D.

About The Book

In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha--and the rich traditions from which they hail--His Holiness delivers a profound affirmation of the sacred in all religions. Readers will be inspired by the Dalai Lama's discussion of the endless merits of each tradition and uplifted by the common humanity between them.

About The Author

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. In 1959, Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives. He is the author of numerous books, including The Good Heart, The Meaning of Life, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, and The Compassionate Life.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (June 2005)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861719525

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Raves and Reviews

"Sparkling wit and compassionate understanding mark these penetrating insights of the Dalai Lama into spiritual foundations of two of the world's great religious traditions. Highly recommended."

– Library Journal

"The Dalai Lama establishes himself as an authentic presence respectful of Christian traditions....This is a fascinating book which deserves a great deal of attention in these times of multicultural exchange."

– Publishers Weekly

"[The Dalai Lama's] reading of the meeting between Mary Magdalene and Jesus in Saint John's account of the Resurrection brought many to tears. It would be hard to say exactly why. Some said later that it was as if they were hearing the words for the very first time, as though their tenderness and mystery and beauty had been taken for granted and were brought to life again, like a gift from an unexpected courier."

– Robert Kiely, Professor of English and American Literature, Harvard University

"Arguably the best book on interreligious dialogue published to date. One does not say such things lightly, but in a very real sense this is a holy book."

– Huston Smith, author of The Illustrated World's Religions

"One hopes for more interfaith dialogues such as this one."

– Timeline

"Models the elements of a meaningful interfaith dialogue."

– Tricycle

"Stirring and revelatory commentary on the Gospels."

– Booklist

"A fine addition to the growing body of literature on Christian-Buddhist discussion."

– Shambhala Sun

"An illuminating handbook for the study of both religions."

– Utne Reader

"The Jesus who emerges from this exegesis is a person remarkably similar to the Dalai Lama himself: someone able to hold passionate commitments about the religious life, to advocate those teachings to others, but to do so in a way that unifies people around their common humanness rather than destructively promoting division."

– Books & Culture: A Christian Review

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