Not every book will change your life, but any book can. Not every discussion will make a difference, but a conversation can change the world.
In this timely retelling of an ancient Buddhist parable, peace activist Satish Kumar has created a small book with a powerful spiritual message about ending violence. It is a tale of a fearsome outcast named Angulimala ("Necklace of Fingers"), who is terrorizing towns and villages in order to gain control of the state, murdering people and adding their fingers to his gruesome necklace. One day he comes face to face with the Buddha and is persuaded, through a series of compelling conversations, to renounce violence and take responsibility for his actions.
The Buddha and the Terrorist addresses the urgent questions we face today: Should we talk to terrorists? Can we reason with religious fundamentalists? Is nonviolence practical? The story ends with a dramatic trial that speaks to the victims of terrorism—the families whose mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters Angulimala has murdered. It asks whether it is possible for them to forgive. Or whether it is even desirable.
No one can read The Buddha and the Terrorist without thinking about the root causes of terrorism, about good and evil, about justice and forgiveness, about the kind of place we want the world to be, and, most important, about the most productive and practical way to get there.