Parables of Jesus and Buddha: Exegesis and Anomaly deals with the parables of Buddha and Jesus and makes an attempt to study them through comparison. One can feel the conspicuous and favourable presence of the elements of the Buddhist Jatakas in the Gospel. This kind of a study becomes all the more important and relevant in the present scenario because of a growing need to handle religious diversity. Besides, the book gives a totally new and fresh interpretation of the Gospelic parables from a literary and cultural point of view than a pulpit interpretation on theological lines. This diversion stimulates us to rethink our position of reading Bible as a mere religious scripture and sees it as a book of literature and history of the Hebrews.
I think the book can be of great help to readers to understand the nuances of different religious strands and the ethical undercurrent that runs through them.
Sthitaprajna earned her MA degree in English literature from University of Hyderabad in 2000 and in 2001 she was awarded the Masters of Philosophy from Utkal University. She has qualified her BEC from Cambridge University, UK and Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching English (PGDTE) from CIEFL, Hyderabad.
After completing her Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from IGNOU, she is at present freelancing for different journals. She has completed her three-year degree course in Odissi dance from Kala Niketan, Chandigarh.
She was invited by the Freethinkers' Association of Germany to perform Odissi dance in different cities of Germany including Berlin. Because of her exemplary performance she has been selected recently to the American Biographical Institute's Governing Board of Directors.
Besides her collection of short stories for children entitled Stories that Stir, her articles have been published in various journals like Indian Journal of Contemporary English Criticism, New Quest, Critical Endeavour, Australian Humanist, Vivekananda Kendra Patrika, Bhavan's Journal, Aryan Heritage, Replica and others.
Sthitapranja was previously teaching at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and at present is a Lecturer at the Institute of Technical Education and Research, Bhubaneswar and is engaged in writing a book entitled, "Concept of Poetic Language in Ancient Indian and Modern Western Critical Theories."
Tonight sitting in the background of a war-torn country in the corridor of my house in Serbia, I'm writing the preface to Sthitaprajna's Parables of Jesus and Buddha: Exegesis and Anomaly.. Living among the warring religions in an atmosphere of constant fear, hatred and violence we have always associated religion with goriness. Her book however has greatly comforted and impressed me for it connects a missing link between all religions. I was astonished to see such point of contacts between the Judeo-Christian religious tradition and the Hindu-Buddhist tradition. Definitely the latter has influenced the former through sources of its antiquity, more so because India is the fountainhead of all religions. This book may provide the solution to bridge the gulf between the conflicting religions.
Besides, the book inaugurates a new and still expanding school of Biblical studies devoted to reading the Bible as literary work. The author deals first and foremost with Bible as Literature and its enormous influence on western literature over centuries. In this penetrating study, the author sets out to analyse and interpret the parables of Jesus as part of the cultural studies also seeing their symbolic overtones and poetic atmosphere. She tries to reveal the design and significance of the parables in the life of Jesus and his fellowmen.
The tradition of parables has an Indian origin and is almost absent in the Jewish tradition. But Jesus' miraculous way of speaking parables reveals his more than visible connection with Buddhism. Moreover, the close proximity between Jesus' parables and Buddha's Jatakas in theme and texture shows the Hindu-Buddhist influence on Jesus. The author's astonishing revelation of Jesus' visit to India corroborating some important facts can open new challenges for scholars and critics alike. The book has been written with unusual breadth of reference and argues with precision that Jesus visited India where previous works have remained baffled.
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