THE BUDDHA AND THE TERRORIST

SATISH KUMAR
Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2006
144 pp.; $12.95 (cloth)

 overturn

THE STORY OF the Buddha’s encounter with Angulimala, a criminal so vicious he wore a necklace of human fingers, will be familiar to many Buddhists. It is a popular parable and has been adapted and retold many times; it is incorporated into Thich Nhat Hanh’s Old Path White Clouds as well as Osama Tezuka’s epic Buddha comic. And while even those completely unfamiliar with the tale may guess the ending (if Angulimala had proven incorrigible, all those Buddha statues today would be missing a few fingers), it remains a powerful statement of the power of nonviolence and compassion.

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