The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler’s Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate

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At a tumultuous time where fascist and white supremacist groups feel more emboldened and comfortable in expressing their ignorant hate-speech, it’s important to understand the symbolism behind the various icons these groups rally around. By far the most infamous is the Nazi swastika.

But the swastika was a symbol of peace for centuries before Hitler’s forces perverted it for their own purposes. Why did Hitler choose it? What made it such a potent tool? And is there any chance of reviving the swastika’s formerly peaceful meaning and scrubbing away the taint of the Nazi agenda?

The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler’s Cross asks these difficult questions, all while exploring the incredibly diverse and expansive history of the symbol itself. With dozens of photographs — and man, is it jarring to see Buddhist statues with swastikas on the forehead! — and a wealth of research behind it, this book is fascinating.

And although I highly doubt the author’s mission of reclaiming the swastika’s reputation for peace will be successful, it has led to an incredible historical study of the importance of religious symbols and how they can be incorporated into a society in surprising and unlikely ways.


Reviewed By:

Author T. K. Nakagaki
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 200 pages
Publisher Stone Bridge Press
Publish Date 2018-09-25
ISBN 9781611720457
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Religion
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