Erick Mead wrote:
A professor who said such a thing does not understand the concept of ura, or the operations of latency and contingency in history. It is like saying that Irish culture has no influence anymore because so very few Irish speak Gaelic.
I don't feel a need to defend my religion professor, as I'm sure he can do so on his own, but those are my words not his. I'll take the blame for any misconstruction of his lectures.
Regarding "Ura" I've never seen that terminology before. Is this a concept presented in Palmer's book? I did a google search for it, but no luck. Just a bunch of acronyms... Unless of course you mean Ura as in Omote and Ura?
While I haven't seen Palmer's book, (and I am currently pretty far from a library) evidence of Christianity in Buddhist sutras is not really that surprising. Considering the vastness of the Chinese Buddhist canon (100 volumes), the mistranslation of early Indian texts into Chinese, and the interaction of religious traditions that happened along the silk road, there is definitely quite a bit of "borrowing" in what became Chinese Buddhism. Of course, "borrowing" is kind of the essence of the development of religion. It seems that this is more a question of "to what extent did Buddhism borrow from Christianity?" From what I know of Buddhism, the answer is "not much." However, my studies in Religion have focused on China, Japan, and Buddhism, without venturing too far into the realm of Western Religion, and I also haven't read Palmer's book.