Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Books 2010

The Spirit of the Buddha
by Martine Batchelor

The Spirit of the Quakers
by Geoffrey Durham
both Yale University Press

These two volumes are part of a series published in association with the International Sacred Literature Trust. Both are primers that use extensive quotations from the founding and important texts of their traditions. Martine Batchelor, a former Buddhist nun, uses the texts to illustrate her own narrative. Geoffrey Durham uses more quotations and texts, including journals and letters. Batchelor's book provides a glossary of terms and detailed list of sources; Durham's a chronology of Quaker history and an index. They are both solid introductions to their respective traditions, as well as useful selections and organizing of texts for experienced adherents. So they are worthy candidates for gifts to the curious as well as the convinced.

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