According to Addison Hodges Hart, the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures and the teachings of Christ, the Good Shepherd who guides us to God, share a common vision. Both show us that authentic spiritual life must begin with an inner transformation of one's self, leading to an outward life that is natural and loving. In "The Ox-Herder and the Good Shepherd" Hart shares the story that these pictures tell, exploring how this ancient Buddhist parable can enrich and illumine the Christian way.
"Includes 10 color illustrations"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
The ox-herding pictures of Zen Buddhism, illustrations with accompanying poems intended to portray the development of enlightenment and meditative practice, are Hart’s (Knowing Darkness) main focus. The possibility of a common religious grammar leads the author, a retired chaplain and pastor, to seek Christ in alternative religions, believing that such an exploration would flesh out the nature of the Christian faith. The ox-herding pictures begin with a “fall” from paradise, from which its subject searches desperately for what was lost. Only with meditative, conscious practice and faith in the omnipresence and ordinariness of the divine in everyday life is it possible to regain what was lost. For Hart, this Buddhist enterprise is easily translated into Christian terms. The goal to find Christ on the Buddhist path is without pretension and is a respectful, honest endeavor to discover an underlying commonality in disparate religious systems. For the Christian who is not well-acquainted with the Zen Buddhist tradition, Hart’s book serves as an introduction to this Eastern religion/spirituality; it can also be a primer for how to approach non-Christian faiths from a compassionate and sympathetic point of view. (Aug.)