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When God Disappears
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When God Disappears


Robert Kennedy, author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians, is one of three Jesuits in the world called ‘Roshi’ or Zen Master. He is also a psychotherapist and professor of theology at St Peter’s College in New Jersey. He is a representative of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics at the United Nations.

As a Christian Fr Kennedy has found meaning and deep reverence in the practice of Zen Buddhism. He conducts sesshins (Zen retreats) in the United States, Mexico and Ireland. They reflect the Jesuit statement on mission and inter-religious dialogue, which calls on Jesuits to be familiar with other religious traditions and even immerse with them in theological exchange and a dialogue of life, action and religious experience.

While still young Fr Kennedy went to Japan to teach at the Jesuit University in Tokyo. He found himself confronted by a foreign culture indifferent to Christianity and to much that was dear to him. This incited him to enter into dialogue with Zen.

In these talks given at the John Main Seminar 2009 Fr Kennedy uses the traditional Zen approach to teaching through questioning and through art. The talks are structured around twelve koans (a story, question, or statement whose meaning can't be accessed by rational thinking, yet may be understood by intuition). The koans, beautifully illustrated by Amy Yee’s paintings and by Fr Kennedy’s calligraphy, can be found in the elegant leaflet enclosed with the CDs.

1 Welcome and Introduction - Laurence Freeman OSB
2 Background - Robert Kennedy SJ
3 Approaching Buddhism
4 Interfaith Work
5 ‘Do not squander your life’
6 ‘One insight opens three thousand worlds’
7 ‘The Way is fundamentally without words’

1 Unknowing
2 ‘Do not judge by any standard’
3 ‘All things are interdependent and their nature impermanent’
4 ‘The dragon roars in the dead tree’

1 The Creator Wanes
2 ‘Delusion and enlightenment are not two’
3 ‘The bright moon does not shine to guide the night traveller’
4 ‘Outside of the tree, there is no fragrance’
5 Creeds are evolving variable statements of faith

6 Humanity Waxes - Creation Waxes
7 ‘True emptiness is marvellous existence’
8 ‘How do you proceed on from the top of a pole?’
9 ‘Her nature is wise; she has an elegant heart like an orchid’
10 The Elegant Life

Robert Kennedy & Laurence Freeman - moderated by Ruth Fowler

Type of Media: CD
Speaker/Author Robert Kennedy SJ (4 Audio CDs)