Meaning, Consensus and Dialogue in Buddhist-Christian Communication
A Study in the Construction of Meaning
John D'Arcy May
There is no lack of phenomenological literature on both Buddhism and Christianity, nor of theological literature on the «dialogue» between them. There is need, however, of a theory of communication between such communities of belief. Analyses of Buddhist and Christian canonical texts reveal the linguistic patterns underlying the «construction» of meaning in the earliest communities; a theory of consensus formation provides a broader framework for understanding the development and interaction of social meaning systems; and in this framework the problems posed by Buddhist-Christian communication are formulated and analysed.