Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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J.C. Cooper
Jean C. Cooper (1905-1999) was born in China where she spent much of her childhood. Informed by the perspective of the Perennial Philosophy, she wrote and lectured extensively on the subjects of philosophy, comparative religion, and symbolism. She was the author of lucid introductory works on Chinese religion such as Taoism, the Way of the Mystic (1972), Yin and Yang (1981), and Chinese Alchemy (1984). In addition, she wrote several works in the field of symbolism, including Fairy Tales: Allegories of the Inner Life (1983), Symbolism, the Universal Language (1986), Symbolic and Mythological Animals (1992), and the broad ranging classic in its field, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols (1978).

Often writing under the name "J.C. Cooper," she was a regular contributor to Studies in Comparative Religion, penning many book reviews and a few essays, such as “The Symbolism of the Taoist Garden”, which appeared in the Autumn 1977 issue of Studies. An illustrated compilation of three of her books recently appeared under the title An Illustrated Introduction to Taoism: The Wisdom of the Sages (World Wisdom, 2010).


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Type TitleAuthor/
Reviewed Author*
Author 2/
The Symbolism of the Taoist GardenCooper, J.C. Vol. 11, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1977) Far Eastern
Book Review
Reviewer J. C. Cooper finds this book by Arnaud Desjardins to be a well-balanced mix of background on Buddhism (with "an excellent exposition on some of the misunderstandings of Tantrayana and of its true meaning"), and the observations of author Desjardins upon the cultural differences between the traditional Tibetan culture that he encountered there during the course of making a film, and the West. The reviewer seems particularly impressed with the observations on the temperament of children and the differences in their respective educational formation.
The Message of the TibetansDesjardins, Arnaud *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 5, No. 1. ( Winter, 1971) Buddhism
Book Review
J. C. Cooper, in this review of Science is God, sums up its virtues with "The book is eminently readable and contains a great deal of sense." She highlights several fundamental points that the author, Professor David F. Horrobin, makes in the book, covering the correct limits of science, its inability to prove or disprove religious phenomena such as miracles, its appropriate place in education and reforms that must be implemented to assure this, and the expanding of "science" to such inherently subjective disciplines as Economics, Sociology and Education.
Science Is GodHorrobin, David F.*Cooper, J.C. Vol. 5, No. 1. ( Winter, 1971) Comparative Religion
Book Review
This is another review by J. C. Cooper. Here, she examines a book that is an account of its author's archaeological travels, and whose purpose is to "bring to us a sense of meaning of the past and give awareness of man's striving toward fulfillment and a valid communion between the dead and the living, correlating the past and the present." The reviewer suggests that the musings of the author might make this book one that traditionalist/perennialist readers would enjoy for its approach towards ancient peoples.
The Deep WellNylander, Carl *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 5, No. 1. ( Winter, 1971) Comparative Religion
Book Review
Rather than reviewing The Cipher of Genesis, by Carlo Snares, J. C. Cooper merely summarizes the main thesis of the book. This thesis is that the chapter of Genesis is entirely symbolical and must be interpreted accordingly. It is, says Carlo Snares, part of the Cabala. The reader is left to guess that Cooper is either undecided or is skeptical on whether or not the entire chapter of Genesis is in a sort of "code" and nothing means what it seems to mean. In other words, we do not know from this review if Snares' deciphering of this "cipher" can be reconciled with traditional Jewish or Christian hermeneutics or whether it is a view that reflects a fantastical interpretation of just one busy mind.
The Cipher of GenesisSnares, Carlo *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 5, No. 1. ( Winter, 1971) Judaism
Book Review
J. C. Cooper summarizes some new books received by the journal: God's First Love by Friedrich Heer; Introducing Psychology, edited by D. S. Wright and Ann Taylor; Behavior Therapy in Clinical Psychiatry, by V. Meyer and Edward S. Chesser; Youth Holds the Key, by H. W. Heason; and A Chime of Windbells: A Year of Japanese Haiku in English Verse, a translation of Japanese poems by Harold Stewart.
New books received - Winter 1971author(s), various *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 5, No. 1. ( Winter, 1971) Comparative Religion
Book Review
J.C. Cooper summarizes Thakur’s argument concerning similarities and differences between Hindu and Christian ethics. Cooper discusses the basis of Thakur’s argument, which is based on his contrasts and comparisons of the creation myths of the two religions.
Christian and Hindu EthicsThakur, S. C.*Cooper, J.C. Vol. 4, No. 2. ( Spring, 1970) Christianity
Book Review
In this review, Cooper discusses the work of Professor Johansson. Johansson is primarily concerned with how the Buddhist concept of Nirvana is perceived—is it a psychological, metaphysical, or ethical state, or a combination of them all? Cooper goes on to discuss and evaluate Johansson’s approach to his research.
The Psychology of NirvanaJohansson, Rune *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 4, No. 2. ( Spring, 1970) Buddhism
Book Review
"While Western philosophy assumes that mere intelligence is all that is necessary, Eastern wisdom demands that the student must have attained control over himself and his physical body, his emotions and reactions, before wisdom will reveal her secrets," J.C. Cooper argues in her summary and critique of Saher’s book. Breaking the book into parts, Cooper discusses what she feels are the most noteworthy points Saher makes regarding the similarities and contrasts between Western and Eastern spiritual philosophy.
Eastern Wisdom and Western ThoughtSaher, P. J.*Cooper, J.C. Vol. 4, No. 1. ( Winter, 1970) Comparative Religion
Book Review
In this review, J.C. Cooper summarizes and supports this book by of Trungpa on the Buddhist emphasis on the experience of truth versus education via books and teachers alone. Cooper outlines the theme of Trungpa’s book in this accessible and short review. She praises the author’s use of allegories and parables, and ends the review with this praise: "In these days of so much pinchbeck Hindu and Buddhist writing, it is a relief and a privilege to be given the real gold."
Meditation in ActionTrungpa, Chogyam *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 4, No. 1. ( Winter, 1970) Buddhism
Book Review
“Man’s need today is to recover the traditionally recognized God Consciousness” argues J.C. Cooper in his review of Hugh l’Anson Faussett’s book. Cooper continues in his summary of this book by quoting statements from the book such as "each level of our being and the centers which govern them are released from the distorting grasp of the ego” and then are able to “experience life as an expression of something greater than itself".
The Lost DimensionI'Anson, Hugh Faussett*Cooper, J.C. Vol. 3, No. 3. ( Summer, 1969) Misc
Book Review
J.C. Cooper reviews this book which he says is a collection of lectures given at the University of Delhi; these lectures discuss religions like Hinduism and Christianity, as well as lesser known religions like Jainism, Buddhism, and the non-dualism of Shankara and Ramanuja. According to the reviewer Smart regards Christianity “over-intellectualized” and “rejecting Natural Theology”. Cooper claims that an argument of this book is that “two aspects of religion must not merely live in harmony and equality, but must be complementary”.
The Yogi and The DevoteeSmart, Ninian *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 3, No. 3. ( Summer, 1969) Hinduism
Book Review
A series of new books reviewed by J.C. Cooper including Honest to Man; The Faith of Other Men; Realisation of Oneness; The Paradox of Self-Denial; and Kindred Soul
New books received - Summer 1969author(s), various *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 3, No. 3. ( Summer, 1969) Misc
Book Review
A series of new books reviewed by J. C. Cooper, including Crisis in Consciousness; Religion in Practice; Man in Search of Immortality; The World's Living Religions; The Meaning and End of Religion; Movement and Emptiness; Meditation; The English Presbyterians; The Church Unbound; Septem Sermones ad Mortuos; Being-in-the-World; Bible of the World; The Song Celestial
New books received - Winter 1969author(s), various *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 3, No. 1. ( Winter, 1969) Misc
Book Review
The reviewer J.C.Cooper, quotes Charles Luk's own words, that his only ambition is "to present as many Chinese Buddhist texts as possible, so that Buddhism can be preserved at least in the West, should it be fated to disappear in the East as it seems to be." In the light of the destruction of Buddhism in Tibet, Cooper says “the West must be doubly grateful to Charles Luk, for placing in its hands the possibility of helping to preserve some of the wisdom of the East” .Of the Surangama Sutra Luk writes:” This important sermon contains the essence of the Buddha's teaching and, as foretold by Him, will be the first sutra to disappear in the Dharma ending age."
The Surangama SutraLuk, Charles *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 2, No. 2. ( Spring, 1968) Buddhism
Book Review
J.C. Cooper reviews Reverend Sidney Spencer’s latest work on Mysticism. The reviewer claims that it “is not only eminently readable for the layman, but is written in a scholarly manner; is well documented, and has an excellent bibliography. The book shows a total lack of bias, with a sympathetic understanding of the traditions of the East and every aspect of mysticism in the West.” The review includes the history of mysticism and an examination of the influence mysticism has had on the great world religions.
Mysticism in World ReligionSpencer, Sidney *Cooper, J.C. Vol. 2, No. 1. ( Winter, 1968) Comparative Religion
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