When Nestorian Christians were pressing across Central Asia during the 6th and 7th centuries, they met the missionaries and saints of an equally confident and expansionist religion; Buddhism. Buddhists too wanted to take their saving message to the world, and launched great missions from India’s monasteries and temples. In presenting their faith, Christians naturally used the cultural forms that would be familiar to Asians. They told their stories in the forms of sutras, verse patterns already made famous by Buddhist missionaries and teachers. Some Nestorian writings draw heavily on Buddhist ideas, as they translate prayers and Christian services in ways that would make sense to Asian readers. One story from those times in particular suggests an amazing degree of collaboration between the faiths. In 782, the Indian Buddhist missionary Prajna arrived in Chang’an, with a large collection of sutras and other scriptures. Unfortunately, these were written in Indian languages. He consulted the local Nestorian bishop, Adam, who had already translated parts of the Bible into Chinese. Together, Buddhist and Christian scholars worked amiably together for some years to translate seven copious volumes of Buddhist books. Probably, Adam did this as much from intellectual curiosity as from ecumenical good will, and we can only guess about the conversations that would have ensued. These efforts bore fruit far beyond China. Other residents of Chang’an at this very time included Japanese monks, who took these very translations back with them to their homeland. In Japan, these several of these works became the founding texts of the great Buddhist schools of the Middle Ages. All the famous movements of later Japanese history, including Zen, can be traced to one of those ancient schools and, ultimately - incredibly - to the work of a Christian bishop. For more on this interesting topic have a look at http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/12/14/when_jesus_met_buddha/? From the internet.