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ROBERT KENNEDY, author of two books, 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 was a professor of theology at St Peter’s University in New Jersey.
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.
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.