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Kuan Yin: Myths and Revelations of the Chinese Goddness of Compassion: The Prophecies of the Goddess of Mercy (Chinese Classics) Paperback – 27 Nov 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons (27 Nov. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855384175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855384170
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 1.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a writer, broadcaster, religious historian, environmentalist (head of a charity linking religions and conservations - www.arcworld.org) and translator of Chinese classics.

I was born in Bristol, a city where my family has lived for more than 500 years. My surname, Palmer, suggests that sometime before the Reformation my ancestors were professional pilgrims. They were called Palmers because they brought back palm leaves from the Holy Land to show their clients (who had hired them in order to gain some merit in heaven without actually having to make an exhausting journey themselves) they had done the trip.

I was brought up on a huge housing estate (what Americans call "public housing") on the outskirts of Bristol, where my father was a vicar. I spent every weekend walking the ancient city of Bristol or exploring the churches and pre-historic sites of North Somerset within cycling distance of my house. From this and from a magic godmother who lived on the Quantock Hills in Somerset I developed a love and passion for the history, places, landscape and stories of Britain.

My first job was as an advisor on religious education in schools in Manchester and as part of that I founded, in Salford, the world's first multi-faith education centre. We took around 12,000 children out every year to explore the landscape of inner city Manchester through the eyes of the different faith communities and how they had adapted the landscape to fit with their beliefs and traditions.

In 1983 WWF-UK asked me to write the first book for schools on how different beliefs shape the way you treat the natural world. "Worlds of Difference" became the best selling RE book ever and went into 12 languages. It launched the whole movement of taking seriously the role of faith in the protection of our planet and its nature. In 1986 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who was then International President of WWF, asked me to organise the first ever meeting between major faiths and the main conservation movements in Assisi, Italy. In 1995, I launched, with Prince Philip, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) which now works with every major religious tradition world wide developing environmental programmes based upon the tradition's own teachings, schools, landholding, investments, festivals etc.

I am an Anglican but not perhaps an orthodox one as my faith has been deeply influenced by both Daoism and Judaism. I speak regularly around the world on a range of topics from the role of stories to the role of faith in conservation. I am an advisor to the Club of Rome and have worked with UNESCO, UNDP, the World Bank as well as with many faith bodies such as the Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines of Japan) the China Taoist Association, the Mongolian Buddhist Sangha and the World Council of Churches.

I am married to writer and journalist Victoria Finlay and together we have written one of the most influential books on religion and conservation: Faith in Conservation, published by the World Bank. We live in North Somerset.

(PHOTOS by CLINT RANDALL www.pixelphotography.co.uk)


Product Description

From the Back Cover

Kuan Yin is the most important and best loved deity of the Chinese world. She is the living expression of compassion, whose gentle face and elegant figure form a centre of devotion in most Chinese homes and workplaces. Yet she is barely known in the West and few studies have been made of her. The authors of this book have travelled all over China in search of her true story and origins within Buddhism, Taoism and the female shamans of China. Now, in her universal mystery and power of the divine feminine, she transcends all doctrines, creeds and traditions.

The beautiful poetry of the '100 Prophecies of Kuan Yin' is here translated into English for the first time. These poems were used as a method of divination, to gain insight into the depths of the soul. With the myths, they form the heart of this new look at one of the most powerful but least known goddesses.

MARTIN PALMER, the Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC), is an expert on interfaith work, author of many books and translator of numerous ancient Chinese texts, including the 'I Ching' and 'Tao Te Ching'.

JAY RAMSAY is a poet and founder of the Chrysalis poetry project. His main work is ''The Great Return'' and he is particularly interested in the role of the artist-healer.

KWOK MAN-HO trained for 20 years with Taoist and Buddhist masters in Hong Kong, and is now the foremost practitioner of traditional Chinese religion in Britain. He is a renowned Chinese scholar and translator.

"'Kuan Yin' vividly documents the continual reassertion of the human need to rearticulate the feminine in the divine. It tells a compelling story that reads like a detective mystery, sheds new light on both Chinese and Western religions, and shows that the contemporary reassertion of the Goddess in the hearts and minds of women and men is actually a recurrent cross-cultural theme."
RIANE EISLER, author of 'The Chalice and the Blade'

"We learn something about Kuan Yin's great significance, her enchanting statues and temples, but also about the literature she inspired, especially a collection of 100 poems full of wisdom and great beauty which have been translated in this book with much sensitivity and insight, almost for the first time."
URSULA KING, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Bristol

About the Author

Martin Palmer is the director of ICOREC the consultancy on religion, education and culture. He is an expert on Chinese philosophy and culture and the author of many books on the subject.



Jay Ramsay is a poet and author of 20 books including ‘Psychic Poetry’, ‘The White Poem’ and ‘Kingdom of the Edge – New and Selected Poems’.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Evans on 4 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book did not disappoint. The book gave me the answers I were looking for. Any follower of eastern religions would enjoy reading this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Kwan Yin Society Endorses this book! 8 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Here for the first time in English you will find the 100Poems of Kuan Yin. This alone makes the book a treasure.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Lots of hisorical facts and interesting poems. 24 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book gives much historical information in a short space. It also contains the 100 divination poems. The beginning is a bit dry but all in all a good book. The only thing I was hoping to find and did not was more stories about people who had had special or miraculous occurances that they attribute to her.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
revelations of kuan yin told by close friends. 30 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i was not a devotee for kuan yin.but after reading this book,i realised that there are indeed miracles associated with kuan yin,which came to my mind after reading this book.similar to one of the book's account of an example of kuan yin revelation,i had also a true account of kuan yin's help given to my mom's neighbour.a neighbour of ours happens to go out to attend some urgent things while forgeting to switch off the gas stove.a fire started and i was quite big.fortunately my neighbour who was told about the fire started to ask kuan yin for help.strangely enough,the fire suddenly extinguished by itself without anyone trying to put it off.it was witness by my mom and some friends who were desperately trying to open the locked door.finally when the door was opened,my mon saw a statue of kuan yin at the kitchen,still intact,serene and untouched by the fire.such was the strange things that kuan yin has always help people who ask her for help.maybe ,the author would like to find out more about kuan yin's revelations by asking among kuan yin's devotees in china,taiwan hk or south east asia in the future.thanks
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
INTERESTING, BUT... 18 Jun. 2001
By Ray Shepard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was interesting, but lacked practical insight into personal interface with Kwan Yin. Good for a more "academic", objective look as this boddhisattva, but not for those who are looking for intimate insights.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good Book but a little scrappy. 19 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book on a subject which seems to have little coverage in the West. It is a little confusing in that one picks up by scraps the basic history and stories surrounding this immensely popular goddess. All the strands could have been better pulled together, but maybe this is a sympton of the sketchy nature of the material available. Peculiar use of first person singular; even more peculiar when one considers there is more than one author.
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