The Golden Triangle & Japan

Church and mission in Buddhist worlds

[amazon template=thumbnail right&asin=1850786100]We squeezed two cultural areas into one book here, much as we did in with the Turkic and Persian worlds in The Silk Road.

One, Japan, is self-explanatory; the second, for which we borrowed the term The Golden Triangle embraces the countries that span the Mekong River. We focussed especially on telling the stories of churches in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Folk Religion is just as great an influence in both these areas as Buddhism, and of course it overlaps, not just with Buddhism but with some expressions of Christianity too.

In the book, for example, we meet one old Catholic lady who likes to slaughter a chicken at home even though she’s just been to Mass. Mass, she figures, appeases Almighty God, but gods are like government officials — if you want anything done, you have to bribe the small ones.


Further reading

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Story of a Burmese tribal Catholic who takes a degree in English literature in Cambridge: one of those books that straddles two cultures and interprets one to the other. Khoo Thwe’s granny is the one we quote who bribes the small gods behind the backs of the Catholic priest.