February 10, 2004 Book on Tibetan Buddhism in the West To Be Featured in Library of Congress Discussion on February 26

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Author Jeffery Paine will discuss his new book, “Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West” (W.W. Norton, 2004), at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Library of Congress in the Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., in Washington, D.C.

The presentation is sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed. A book signing will follow the program.

“Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West” tells the stories of some of the fascinating figures who have both helped to shape the current Western view of Tibetan Buddhism and contributed to the religion’s staying power. In his book, Paine attempts to explain why this religion, which used to be the faith of a remote mountain people, has turned into a rapidly growing Western religion in a single generation.

Paine writes that prior to the 1950s, Westerners were oblivious to the little Eastern country of Tibet. Ten years later, however, several cultural elements combined to transform the Western attitude toward Tibet from ignorance to enthusiastic acceptance, starting with Catholic intellectual Thomas Merton’s 1968 audience with the exiled Dalai Lama, opening Western eyes to the possibility of Tibetan Buddhism as a great repository of spirituality.

Jeffery Paine is the author of “Father India: How Encounters with an Ancient Culture Transformed the Modern West” (HarperCollins Publishers, 1998) and editor of “The Poetry of Our World : An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2000). He was formerly the literary editor of The Wilson Quarterly.

A generous endowment from John W. Kluge in 2000 enabled the Library of Congress to establish the John W. Kluge Center to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The center houses eight senior chairs, distinguished visiting scholars and approximately 25 postdoctoral fellows. It sponsors a number of programs that highlight research in the humanities and culture.

For more information about any of the fellowships, grants or programs sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, email at scholarly@loc.gov. Or, visit the John W. Kluge Center Web site at www.loc.gov/kluge.


PR 04-008
ISSN 0731-3527