Karl-Josef Kuschel

As If He Was Listening

Rainer Maria Rilke's Dialogue with the Buddha

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) left behind three Buddha poems. The poet sometimes worked as a secretary for the great French sculptor August Rodin. In the latter's garden, Rilke discovered a Buddha statue (documented in the picture section) and entered into a dialogue with it. Karl-Josef Kuschel tells the story of this dialogue and answers the question: What was it that interested one of the greatest poets of 20th century European literature in the figure of the Buddha of all things? Rilke's Buddha poems are a bridge across cultural boundaries of understanding – unobtrusive and without any intention of teaching. An exemplary dialogue!

  • An exciting testimony on the encounter between Europe and Asia
  • A study on literature as a dialogue of cultures
  • A special look at the German's favourite poet

ISBN: 978-3-8436-1252-4
Hardcover with dust jacket and book ribbon
208 pages
Format 14 x 22 cm
EUR 22.00

Title in German

The Author

© Sascha Baumann / all4foto.de

Karl-Josef Kuschel

Karl-Josef Kuschel, born in 1948, is a professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, where he teaches theology of culture and interreligious dialogue. Through his numerous books he has become familiar to a wide public. His works have also been translated into several languages.