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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Two lesser-known FWBO journals…

FWBO News is pleased to be able to mention two lesser-known journals published by members of the Western Buddhist Order – Urthona and the Western Buddhist Review.

Urthona ( is the fruit of a small but dedicated band of lovers of the arts; for them, Urthona is “a magazine for rousing the imagination”. It’s been published since 1992 and issue 25 is just out: Celtic Connections.

They say – “It’s an exploration of the myths of the Celtic world, their enduring appeal and their continued relevance. This issue is for those who are trying to make connections with the pagan roots of our culture, who want to make these wonderful old stories meaningful for their lives, and who want to make links with the pre-christian ways of spirituality which existed in the British Isles before the Roman invasion”.

Back issues are available here, and a generous selection of online articles cover such subjects as The Five Storied Palace (A journey around the symbolic cosmos in the company of Dante with some notes for twenty-first-century travellers); A Fountain Sealed (Reflecting on the tragic split in Coleridge’s poetic Imagination); and Experiments and Values: Sangharakshita talking about the arts in the twentieth century, his likes among its artists and writers, and his new collection of poetry.

Urthona is available from FWBO bookshops or by online ordering.

The Western Buddhist Review
Very different – but equally a product of the meeting of Buddhism and the West – is the FWBO’s ‘Western Buddhist Review’. The WBR takes a more academic approach, and in the latest issue, Issue 4, you'll find Abhaya reflecting on Letters of Gold: Imagery in the Dhammapada; Was the Buddha Omniscient? by Nagapriya, author of the well-known ‘Karma and Rebirth’ ; and the related article Kamma in Context: The Mahakammavibhangasutta and the Culakammavibhangasutta by Manishini (Alice Collett). Many other topics are covered, not least a thought-provoking inquiry into Suicide as A Response to Suffering and Jnanavira’s Reflections on the Feminine in Japanese Buddhism

Issue 5 is expected shortly and will be published on the WBR website.

Other on-line FWBO publications include many past issues of Dharma Life and Madhyamavani – at one time the journal of the Preceptors College.

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Blogger Jayarava said...

It's a bit ironic that the only surviving FWBO print magazine should be "lesser known" especially when 'the arts' are one of the "distinctive emphases" of our movement.

While it's probably a good thing that the WBR is being revived after several years in abeyance, I think they are still confused about their role and target audience. What need is served by it? Academic authors have plenty of outlets in the scholarly press and the average order member is not likely to read a scholarly article on the internet.

Viva Ratnagarbha! for keeping Urthona in print when all others have failed. What a shame he still has to have a day job.

Best wishes also to Lokabandhu who has done a great job of continuing this online newsletter whose fourth birthday passed unnoticed on the 30th of last month. Perhaps one day we will find the resources, the personal and enthusiasm to venture into print again!



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