Sramanera Jivaka (Michael Dillon) - born the sister of the Baronet of Lismullen in Meath, Dillon (1915 – 1962) became the world’s first female to male transsexual through plastic surgery and is a worldwide icon for transgender people.
Outed by the British tabloid press in the 1950s, he fled to India where he was ordained a Buddhist novice (sramanera) in first the Theravada and then the Vajrayana traditions, eventually dying in the Himalayas on his way back to his monastery in Ladakh. This book was written for teenagers on behalf of the Indian Buddhist Maha Bodhi Society.
Personal Copy of Laurence Cox, lecturer in NUI Maynooth.
Brought up in Dublin, Hearn (1850 – 1904) became a freethinker (atheist) and Buddhist sympathiser in America as well as crossing “race lines” by marrying a black woman. In Japan, he became a leading interpreter of the culture of “old Japan”, attempted to marry Buddhist and western philosophy and was given a Buddhist funeral. Bisland’s collection may have been kept on restricted access in Maynooth because of his controversial marriages to non-white women rather than because of his religious views; in Bisland’s 1911 collection of his Japanese Letters she had to defend him against racist attacks linked mostly to his black and creole connections in the US.
The Jesuit (later cardinal) De Lubac was a leading figure in the New Theology which paved the way for Vatican II. In the Library’s holdings this is one of the first of a series of texts up to the 1970s which reflect an ecumenical, inter-theological encounter between French Jesuits and Japanese Zen in particular. A wider dialogue between western and Buddhist philosophy and theology remains well-represented in Irish academia today. Bequest from Rev Dr Gerald Hanratty, UCD Dept of Philosophy.
The Far East was the publication of the Maynooth Mission to China (initiated 1916). Unlike their Jesuit predecessors, the Columban missionaries were not trained in languages or
culture and tended to see Buddhism and other Chinese religions as “idolatry” and “paganism”. Like other missionary publications of the period, The Far East highlighted this as well as the exotic aspects of China in the interests of securing readers and donations back home. Children were a particular target audience and sometimes sold such periodicals door-to-door.