Re: Congregationalism & Prof. Sperling's Reply

posted Jan 14, 2012, 6:23 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Jan 20, 2012, 12:44 PM ]
Dear Editors,

In his short essay "Congregationalism" Professor Sperling missed a golden opportunity to make his points even stronger. Unfortunately he did not bother to discuss the background and history of Laurence Brahm, the "author" of the book The 11th Panchen Lama.  Sperling also failed to mention that the 3rd World Buddhist Forum organized by China is set to start this coming April 25th in Hong Kong (and perhaps one other nearby Chinese city).  This will be something to watch with interest. 

 铎华 Duo Hua
Laurence Brahm

Prof. Sperling Replies:

Duo Huo is indeed correct.  The next World Buddhist Forum will be worth watching both to see how it responds to the Global Buddhist Congregation in Delhi and the role it assigns the Chinese Panchen Lama.  As for Laurence Brahm, taking him into account is a whole other story.  His participation in the project of presenting the Chinese Panchen Lama as a spiritual leader to Western audiences speaks volumes.  However, he was not the focus of article and dealing with him at any length would have changed that focus considerably.  The main thrust of the article was the Global Buddhist Forum and what it may mean for China.  

I should add that a friend suggested that I also include some comments and observations about the politics of the Lumbini project in Nepal as it relates to China’s use of Buddhism in foreign policy.  His suggestion was quite pertinent, but in the end I decided to keep the article brief and limit it to my own reflections on the GBC, based on my observations at the gathering. 

Elliot Sperling 
Indiana UniversitY

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