The History of Saint Iodasaph

                              
The traditional calendar of saints includes Saint "Josaphat" or "Iodasaph," son of a fourth-century king of India. A convert to Christianity, Iodasaph abdicated the throne to embrace a life of ascetic piety. As scholars now widely acknowledge, what was once taken to be the biography of a Christian saint is instead the accidental Christianization of a story of Prince Siddhartha from the Jataka Tales.

The legend of "Iodasaph," a garbled form of "Bodhisattva," meandered over various Buddhist, Manichean, and Arabic paths on its way to being baptized as a piece of medieval Christian hagiography. In various texts, the name appears as "Budhasaf," "Bodisav," and "Bwdysdf" — all even closer to the original. So there you have it: Gautama Buddha, a Catholic saint!

How tempting it is to imagine the hybrid saint as if the historical-critical understanding of the tale were a component of it, as if there really had been a Christian saint named Iodasaph who had Buddhist leanings. What sort of saintly wisdom would he have imparted?

Longstanding Christian*New Age Quarterly readers will recall Robert M. Price's "Tales of Saint Iodasaph," a series that ran intermittently from our January-March 1991 to October-December 1994 issues. Then, a decade later, the Saint reappeared! In all these tales — not quite fiction, more than intellectual ingenuity — Dr. Price weaves together Eastern and Western wisdom using as mouthpiece the curious historical happenstance of a Buddhist legend that became a Christian saint.

Now, Dr. Price has gathered the "Tales" into an eBook collection, Biblical Buddhism: Tales and Sermons of Saint Iodasaph, published by eBookIt.com. For more information, check out the Reverend Daniel B. Hahn's Summer 2012 "Peek Between the Covers."

If, however, you are interested in a particular title — or would prefer to read the "Tales" in hardcopy form — you are most welcome to order from our list below.

                              


"The Tales of Saint Iodasaph"

"The Scripture is Fulfilled" — Autumn 2015 (V22, N1+)
(reprint from July-September-1992 [V4, N3])

"The Transformation Body" — Spring 2014 (V21, N2+)
(reprint from October-December 1991 [V3, N4])

"Saint Iodasaph" and "A Sermon of Saint Iodasaph: The Great Commandment"
— Spring 2012 (V20, N2+)

(reprint of the series' introduction from January-March 1991 [V3, N1])

"Blessed are the Blind" — Winter 2009 (V19, N2)

"The Serpent's Wisdom" — Summer 2009 (V19, N1)

"Invisible Light" — June 2008-February 2009 (V18, N4)

"Revelation of Nothing" — November 2007-May 2008 (V18, N3)

"The Cross and the Raft" — May-October 2007 (V18, N2)

"Back in the Womb" — August 2006-April 2007 (V18, N1)

"Seeking for Signs" — October 2005-July 2006 (V17, N4)

"Gods in the Gutter" — July-September 2005 (V17, N3)

"Temptations Must Come" — April-June 2005 (V17, N2)


Earlier "Tales"
(for descriptions, ask for our full Back Issues List*)

"The Ferryman" — October-December 1994 (V6, N4)

"The Dancing Corpse" — January-March 1994 (V6, N1)

"The Tree of Enlightenment" — January-March 1993 (V5, N1)

"The Scripture is Fulfilled" — July-September-1992 (V4, N3)

"The Banquet Without Guests" — April-June 1992 (V4, N2)

"The Man Beset by Robbers" — January-March 1992 (V4, N1)

"The Transformation Body" — October-December 1991 (V3, N4)

"The Koan of the Sheep and the Goats" — July-September 1991 (V3, N3)

"Saint Iodasaph" and "A Sermon of Saint Iodasaph: The Great Commandment"
— January-March 1991 (V3, N1)


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