Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

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pitakele
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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by pitakele » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:18 am

Another possible reference is A.L. De Silva's "Beyond Belief: A Buddhist Critique of Fundamentalist Christianity"
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf

DW discussion about this book viewtopic.php?t=4632
now here = nowhere

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Miguel » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:53 pm

SarathW wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:21 am
Yes, I can read Sinhalese.
I have read the whole debate.
I was very unimpressed with it.
In my opinion, it was a blind leading the blind debate.
However, it appears that has raised some interest in the community and the world which lead to the revival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Perhaps it is not the content of the debate but the ability of a person to stand up and challenge the British and their ideology.
That's great to know, Sarath. Would you mind if I asked you to browse for literature on the subject that might have been published in Shinhalese? I have found information about a second great debate that took place in Urugodawatta in 1899, in which the Buddhist side was leaded by a bhikkhu named Janananda, but no record of the debate itself. Perhaps in Sinhalese pages is there something about it that could be retrieved?

I, too, found sometimes the argumentation a little shallow, but I suppose it's the nature of a debate what precludes an extensive and profound fundamentation of the debator's views. Also, I have read that Ven. Gunananda was more prized for his oratory than for his actual erudition, which was mostly supplied by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sumangala.
paul wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:48 am
The text was the Abhidhamma.
The transmission is complex, but I will ask pilgrim to comment on how it affected the Sri Lankan revival as he has read the book.

Braun's condensed account:
https://www.spiritrock.org/document.doc?id=5335

Certainly Ven. Nyanaponika and later western monks living in Sri Lanka presented a unified vipassana focus in their writings:
"In 1952, both Venerable Nyanatiloka Thera and Nyanaponika Thera were invited by the Burmese (Myanmar) Government to be consultants to the Sixth Buddhist Council, to be convened in 1954 to re-edit and reprint the entire Pali Canon and its commentaries.[5] After their work with the Council was completed, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera stayed in Burma for a period of training in Vipassana (Insight Meditation)"---Wikipedia
pilgrim wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:11 am
It has been some time since I held that book in my hands, but I do have another book "The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka" by George Bond which may be of interest. Unfortunately it covers the Panadura debates in a couple of pages and does not mention Ledi Sayadaw but almost half the book covers the Vipassana movement into Sri Lanka and its take up by lay people
Thanks, Paul and Pilgrim. Did the book mentioned which books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka were discussed in particular? I am very interested in specific textual references that I can quote or to which I can refer. A fundamental problem with the transmission and study of Buddhist teachings here in academic spaces, specially in the classroom, is the enormous amount of texts that are to be considered authoritative, and of how few of them are translations available and widely printed, not to mention translations in Spanish. Being able to refer the listeners to specific passages of a determinate text, which I can then translate from the English, will do a lot for the solidness of the paper.

Also, Pilgrim: Do you have the time to perhaps, make a PDF scan of the two pages that speak of the debate and of the index of the book you mention? (The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka, by George Bond). I would like to buy the whole book, but it's priced at around 33 euros in Amazon, and I cannot spare that amount right now (something to which a philosopher-to-be should be getting accustomed, right? ).
Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:48 am
I wonder, are you familiar with Gunapala Dharmasiri's Buddhist Critique of the Christian Concept of God? If not, I commend it to your attention as a book that will probably prepare you for about 90 percent of the brickbats that philosophy undergrads are likely to hurl in your direction.
Thanks for the recommendation, Bhante. I have, however, the same problem regarding financing standing in the way of buying it. Would it be too much trouble to ask you for a scan of the index pages, to at least get an idea of the themes touched? On that note, how tight is your schedule for this month? Would you, Venerable, like to help me in finding the canonical origins of the arguments expounded by the bhikkhus at the debates? Or, if you're too busy, do you know of somebody who could?
pitakele wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:18 am
Another possible reference is A.L. De Silva's "Beyond Belief: A Buddhist Critique of Fundamentalist Christianity"
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf

DW discussion about this book viewtopic.php?t=4632
Thank you, Pitakele! That will serve me well. Also, the fact that A.L. De Silva is actually Ven. Dhammika is very important in showing how the Buddhist-Christian debates have continued up to this day. Curiously, the main opponent of Ven. Gunananda in the Panadura debate was a Reverend named David De Silva. Perhaps Ven. Dhammika is doing reference to that fact?

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by SarathW » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:01 pm

Would you mind if I asked you to browse for literature on the subject that might have been published in Sinhalese?
This debate content some of the important teachings of Buddha, Anatta and Dependent Origination.
Then some mud-slinging based on Buddhist stories such as why Buddha gave away his children and wife in the previous birth and how a murderer like Angulimala became an Arahant etc. Then also a question of the validity of the Tipitaka as it was written some years after Buddha.

The discussions were very similar to the debate we have in this forum about those subjects.

Do not expect to learn anything from this debate except the questions about Buddha's teaching have not changed for thousands of years.
Buddha's teaching is so deep it is not easy for the unwise to grasp it. This is understandable considering the fact that even the prominent Buddhist monks misrepresent the teaching. Sangabedha (division among Buddhist monks) is the result of this misunderstanding.
The harm is done by insiders to Buddhism is greater than the outsiders.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by paul » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:21 pm

Braun’s text explaining Ledi Sayadaw’s adaptation of the Abhidhammattha for public application:
https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/articl ... es-insight

Since your audience are complete beginners to Buddhism, I suggest the paper be structured around fundamental points:

-communicate the difference between the abhidhamma pitaka and the sutta pitaka, if this can be done successfully, the abhidhamma is sure to appeal to the philosophical brain.

The modern presentation of the Abhidhammattha by Bikkhu Bodhi in collaboration with a Burmese monk:

http://www.saraniya.com/books/meditatio ... dhamma.pdf


-enlightenment can be obtained in this lifetime (this opposes the Christian view)

-the difference between tranquility and insight meditation. The direction of western Theravada has now turned away from Ledi Sayadaw’s emphasis on insight ("dry insight" without jhana) to jhana cultivation, as taught by the most venerable Pa Auk, Ajahn Brahm and Thanissaro Bikkhu. The debate about which has the ascendency has been going on since the suttas were composed, and if a basic understanding of the difference can be established, it is sure to engage the philosophical mind.

To imbue reality it might be worthwhile mentioning there are two Goenka Vipassana centers in Spain (a manifestation of the Ledi Sayadaw approach):
https://www.sacca.dhamma.org/
Last edited by paul on Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:36 am

Miguel wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:53 pm
Thanks for the recommendation, Bhante. I have, however, the same problem regarding financing standing in the way of buying it. Would it be too much trouble to ask you for a scan of the index pages, to at least get an idea of the themes touched?
I'm afraid I don't have a copy of the book; the one I read many years ago was borrowed from a public library. I attach a couple of academic reviews, which may help you decide if it would be worth going without a meal or two in order to buy a copy.
Miguel wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:53 pm
Would you, Venerable, like to help me in finding the canonical origins of the arguments expounded by the bhikkhus at the debates?
I'll take a look at the Peebles book and get back to you.

.
Attachments
John Holt, Review of Dharmasiri's Critique.pdf
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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:38 am


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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:04 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:36 am
I'll take a look at the Peebles book and get back to you.
Hi Miguel,

This is what I’ve come up with so far. I have about another 40 pages to go.

I don’t know whether there is more than one edition of Peebles’ book, but the page numbers for the notes below are based on this one.



* * * * * * *


10. Buddha speaking of a Rahan named Thamula, said..
Thamula is the Burmese pronunciation of Sāḷha Thera, mentioned in the Mahāsudassana and Mahāparinibbāna Suttas.

10. Nāgasena, a Buddhist missionary before the Christian era, said...
The quotation seems at best a very crude paraphrase of what the Milindapañha and Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra say about Nibbāna.

12. Sin will come back upon the sinful...
Dhammapada verses 125, 71, 160 & 165, 1, 16, 23.

16-17. The following constitutes the ethical code...
Five sīlas and ten kusala kammapathas, though very amusingly translated, e.g., sammādiṭṭhi = Thou shalt not follow the doctrines of false gods. :D

21. To me said this High Priest...
Rev. Sumaṅgala’s conception of Nibbāna seems to be that of Sir Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia (1879) rather than any Buddhist text.

21. The Buddhist Catechism...
Of Col. W.S. Olcott.

26. Thoubat wished to see him...
Thoubat is the Burmese pronunciation of Subhadda.

40-41. In proof of this, he quoted the following...
Samanupassanā and Khandha Suttas, SN. iii. 46-47

42. The following extracts will bear out this statement...
Vibhaṅga Sutta, SN. ii. 2-4

42-43. Priests, I will preach to you sabbaṃ...
Sabba Sutta, SN. iv. 15

43. Again, according to the following authorities...
Vibhaṅga Sutta, SN. ii. 2-4

43. What is nama? Sensation, perception...
Abhidhamma Piṭaka, Vibhaṅga 136

43-44. Again, in the Milindaprasne it is stated...
Nāmarūpapaṭisandahanapañha, Mil. 49.

44. But from the following quotation it would appear...
Upaya Sutta, SN. iii. 53-54

44-45. Again, from the following quotations...
Sammohavinodanī, Pakiṇṇakakathā, Vibh-a. 21.

46. Now from the following extracts it will be seen that Buddha...
Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta, SN. iii. 66-68.

46-47. It is also stated, as will be seen from the following extracts...
Sahetu-anatta Sutta, SN. iii. 24.

47. The same is stated respecting the Ayatanas...
Ajjhattānattahetu Sutta, SN. iv. 130-131

48. In defining death, it is stated...
Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta, MN. 9.

48. In the advice given by Buddha to the priests to cast away all desire...
Chandarāga Sutta, SN. iii. 27

48-49. In the Mahapadhana Suttam it is stated...
Mahāpadāna Sutta, DN. 14.

50-51. And now with reference to the second point...
Aññatarabrāhmaṇa Sutta, SN. ii. 75-76.

51. Again King Milinda asked Nāgasena the following question...
Aññakāyasaṅkamanapañha, Mil. 72.

51-52. Again, the following passages occured in one of the comments...
Visuddhimagga, Kaṅkhāvitaraṇavisuddhiniddesa, Paccayapariggahakathā. = Path of Purification ch. XIX § 22.

52. In consequence of the power of actions performed by beings...
Untraced.

52. Again, defining what birth was, in various parts of Buddhist literature...
Vibhaṅga Sutta, SN. ii. 2-4

52-53. Speaking of Khandhas and Ayatanas, it is said...
Untraced.

56. ... not a different being...
Dhammasantatipañha, Mil. 41-42

59-60. The following Pali extract from the Kathawastu...
Kvu. 30; Points of Controversy 28-29

62. If it were some substance that they meant by Atma, surely it would not be difficult to confine it by locking up a dying man in an airtight chest...
Cf. Payasi Sutta, DN. 23

74.In illustration of the fact that words have different meanings...
Vin. i. 86.

75. and quoted the following passage from the Samyutta Nikaya...
Paṭiccasamuppāda Sutta, SN. ii. 1

79. defined to be...
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, SN. v. 421

85. and he would now quote a passage from the Buddhist Scriptures..
Sammohavinodanī - Viññāṇapadaniddesa, Vibh-a. 163

89. The Buddhist doctrine concerning man was...
Tiṇakaṭṭha Sutta, SN. ii. 178

92. It was said of the wife of the Emperor Bimbisara...
Thusa Jātaka, Jāt. 338

93. He would refer to a few of the thirty-two good and cheerful omens and wonders...
Nidānakathā p. 151. (Th. Rhys Davids’ translation is available from archive.org)

104. In the first place, Buddha’s own mother died...
Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta, MN. 123.

104. Even beasts died by the roaring...
Sīha Sutta, SN. iii. 84-85.

104. Aggohamasmi lokassa...
Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta, MN. 123.

108. Give me your two children as an alms offering...
Vessantara Jātaka, Jāt. 547.

109. yodun...
Sinhala pronunciation of yojana.

109. it is said in Buddhist works that if the ropes and strings...
Cariyā-a. 41.

110. For instance, in Mahawagge it is said that Buddha...
Vin. i. 4-6.

110-111. he decided on preaching his Dhamma to Alarakalama...
Vin. i. 7.

114-115. Even the sage Buddhaghosa was so conscious of the difficulty of rightly explaining...
Visuddhimagga - Paṭiccasamuppādakathā. Path of Purification ch. XVII. § 25.

116. The doctrine of causation is enunciated...
Paṭiccasamuppāda Sutta, SN. ii. 1

116-117. Though, when it is said curd is made...
Visuddhimagga - Abhiññāniddesa. Path of Purification ch. XIII. § 107.
- Paññābhūminiddesa, Path of Purification ch. XVII 167.
- Diṭṭhivisuddhiniddesa, Path of Purification ch. XVIII 29

117. The Patthanaprakarana of Abhidharma also has the following...
Paṭṭh. i. 24-25
Full paragraph:
Ahetukaṃ dhammaṃ paṭicca sahetuko dhammo uppajjati hetupaccayā: vicikicchāsahagataṃ uddhaccasahagataṃ mohaṃ paṭicca sampayuttakā khandhā; paṭisandhikkhaṇe vatthuṃ paṭicca sahetukā khandhā.

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Miguel » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:44 pm

Venerable Sir, what priceless help have you lent to me! Many, many thanks: this was precisely the kind of bibliographical knowledge I was in dire need of. I will be eagerly waiting for your annotations of the last 40 pages, and, although it's not much, I would like to specially mention you in the 'Acknowledgements' section of the paper.

Again, many thanks!

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:12 pm

Miguel wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:44 pm
Again, many thanks!
My pleasure. Here are my notes on the final forty pages.

118. In order to show that samkharas never come to existence alone...
Sammohavinodanī - Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅgavaṇṇanā, Vibh-a. 154.

118. The following passage will also show that viññāṇa...
Sammohavinodanī - Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅgavaṇṇanā, Vibh-a. 172.

126. It is clearly seen from Buddhist books that before a Bodhisat...
Jāt. i. 48; Buddhist Birth Stories: The Story of the Lineage, p. 146

128. The expression made use of in the books is that at Gautama’s birth...
Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta, MN. 123.

129. It was certain that fifty-three years after Buddha’s attaining Nirvana, during the reign of Walagambahu, that the preaching of Buddha was consigned to writing in this Island...
This is another name of King Vattagāmanī Abhaya. It’s true that the Tipiṭaka was put into writing in his reign, but he came centuries after the Buddha (fl. 1st century BCE).

129. ... and even during Buddha’s lifetime it is recorded that Buddha’s sermons were engraved on gold leaves....
I don’t know in what text this is recorded, but Richard Gombrich writes:
Modern editors of the Pali Canon, however, have generally contented themselves with trying to establish a textus receptus or ‘received text’. Let me explain. Most of our physical evidence for the Pali Canon is astonishingly recent, far more recent than our physical evidence for the western classical and biblical texts. While talking of this, I want to take the opportunity to correct a mistake in something I published earlier this year. In Professor K. R. Norman’s splendid revision of Geiger’s Pali Grammar, published by the Pali Text Society (Geiger, 1994), I wrote an introduction called ‘What is Pali?’ (Gombrich, 1994a). In that I wrote (p. xxv) that a Kathmandu manuscript of c.800 A.D. is ‘the oldest substantial piece of written Pali to survive’ if we except the inscriptions from Devnimori and Ratnagiri, which differ somewhat in phonetics from standard Pali. This is wrong. One can quibble about what ‘substantial’ means; but it must surely include a set of twenty gold leaves found in the Khin Ba Gôn trove near Fri Ksetra, Burma, by Duroiselle in 1926–7. The leaves are inscribed with eight excerpts from the Pali Canon. Professor Harry Falk has now dated them, on paleographic grounds, to the second half of the fifth century A.D., which makes them by far the earliest physical evidence for the Pali canonical texts (Stargardt, 1995).
(How Buddhism Began, pp. 8-9)
The texts preserved on these plates are from the Aṅguttara Nikāya and the Abhidhamma’s Vibhaṅga.

130. and in particular made mention of his offering his children, as King Wessantara, to a hermit named Jujaka Bamuna...
Vessantara Jātaka, Jāt. 547. See also Nāgasena’s defence of Vessantara’s actions in the Milindapañha.

133. He then quoted the following gatha (stanza)...
Apaṇṇaka Jātaka, Jāt. 1.

134. But Buddha said: Pubbe ananussutesu...
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, SN. v. 420-424

135. But the books said: “Satthakatam...
Untraced.

136. Angulimala, the finger- chained...
Aṅgulimāla Sutta, MN. 86.

136. Harantika was also a robber...
Not in the Tipiṭaka but in the Rasavāhinī, a collection of Sinhalese Buddhist legends. From the Dictionary of Pali Proper Names:
Āraññaka Mahā-abhaya

A monk. For twelve years a devotee gave him his requisites including cloth for his robes; but a thief, Harantika, always stole the cloth. Discovering this, the devotee caught the rogue, beat him soundly, and, having tied him to a corpse, warned the villagers that a yakkha would be prowling about that night, calling himself Harantika. The villagers fastened their doors and gave him no admission, even his wife refusing to recognise his voice. Then Harantika went to Mahā-abhaya, and having confessed his guilt, asked for protection. Mahā-abhaya bathed him in warm water and rubbed oil on his body, saying it was not his business to take revenge. Harantika later became a monk and attained Arahantship. Ras.ii.5 f.
136. The Demon Alawaka for twelve years consecutively murdered...
Commentary to the Āḷavaka Sutta, Sn-a. i. 217-219; Mahāvaṃsa, Mhv. xxx. 84

137. In Kudugotsangi it is stated that Buddha’s wife Yasodhara...
Untraced.

137. Again it is said in the comment...
Commentary to Mahāpadāna Sutta, DN. 14.

138. In the Parantapa Jataka...
Jāt. 416.

139. In another birth, Sussondiya Jataka...
Jāt. 360.

139. In Matanga Jataka Bodhisat committed a similar act...
Jāt. 497.

139. In the Satta Suriyuggamana Suttani...
Sattasūriya Sutta, AN. iv. 100-106.

143. ..one priest had connection with a female monkey...
Vin. Pārājika, Makkaṭīvatthu, Vin. iii. 21-22.

145. Buddha accepted the invitation of Chunda...
Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, DN. 16.

150. It never appeared in any Buddhist works that even an ant had been killed by [Angulimāla]...
This is a bit bizarre. The Aṅgulimāla Sutta says of him:
Now on that occasion there was a bandit in the realm of King Pasenadi of Kosala named Angulimāla, who was murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Villages, towns, and districts were laid waste by him. He was constantly murdering people and he wore their fingers as a garland.
157-158. He would have died at the appointed day...
Commentary to the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, DN. 16

158-159. and the last stage, that of the complete destruction of relics...
Mohavicchedanī & Manorathapūraṇī.

160. but his omniscience was not of such an unpleasant nature...
The Buddha’s sabbaññuta-ñāṇa is discussed in many places in the Milindapañha. I think the monk probably alludes to the Sabbaññūbhāvapañha, Mil. 74.

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Miguel » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:16 pm

Again, thank you very much, Venerable. I'm now slowly threading the first dozen pages of the paper, and your references have already proven extremely useful, as well as the suggestions and commentaries of the rest of our friends here. I'll be sure to tell you how everything went after all!

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by pitakele » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:42 pm

Ven. S. Dhammika has published a new book, 'Jesus and the Buddha: A Study of their Commonalities and Contrasts'

I haven't read it, but it can be viewed online https://www.bhantedhammika.net/jesus-and-the-buddha
now here = nowhere

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Miguel » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:17 am

Many thanks, Pitakele. I will be particularly sure to use the section 'The Dhamma and the Gospel' of Ven. Dhammika's new book for the conclusions of my dissertation.

I have been thinking, also, about the possibility of adding, as annexes, modern assessments of the Debate from the Wesleyan Church and from our own Buddhist side. Venerable Dhammanando, would you, who have already contributed so much to the project, like to add your own thoughts on the subjects discussed or/and the debate itself? Would any other bhikkhu like to do so too? It can be as long or short as you wish, of course.

I am waiting for the reply of the Wesleyans on that last subject too.

Again, many thanks to all!

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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by pitakele » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:09 am

Miguel wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:17 am
Many thanks, Pitakele. I will be particularly sure to use the section 'The Dhamma and the Gospel' of Ven. Dhammika's new book for the conclusions of my dissertation.
You may be interested in another Buddhism-Christianity debate in Sri Lanka in the 1940's - detailed in 'Towards the Truth' by Henry Van Zeyst
In the 1940’s the students of the University of Ceylon in Colombo arranged for a three-days debate between representatives of two great religions: Buddhism and Christianity. Their choice was the Rev. Clifford Wilson, M.A., the Vicar of Christ Church, Galle Face, Colombo, and Bhikku Dhammapāla, a Buddhist monk from the Netherlands, a convert from Catholicism....
http://henri-van-zeyst.buddhasasana.net ... -truth.htm
I will also send you a private message
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Re: Threefold request for help: Christian-Buddhist debates of 1862-1873

Post by Miguel » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:52 pm

That will certainly be also most useful. Thanks, Pitakele, I would never had heard of it if it wasn't through you.

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