Greg asked a few pages ago whether I was only here to wave my flag. Of course, he was right. (Well, waving mine back at him, to be precise.) Nevertheless there is a serious issue here.
ReasonAndRhyme commented that:
I've tried to read the article but I'm allergic to the pseudo-objective style.
Have you been reading my mind? Or do we have the seeds of a concensus here?
According to Wikipedia's entry about the Danish guy, Scherer:
regrets that Nydahl continues to be ignored by Tibet scholars and argues that prevailing negative criticism from a position of suspicion by sociologists and students of New Religious Movements should be counter-balanced by positive criticism from a position of trust by Tibet scholars.
It appears that Scherer therefore feels that Danish Guy is a primary source
for information about Tibetan Buddhism – something of an inventive interpretation, I suggest. Why ever should a serious scholar want to study the words of Danish Guy to examine Tibetan Buddhism? Only a scholar of modern religious movements would have reasons to study the Dane. As Scherer himself is said to note:
... the little recent academic attention Nydahl has drawn so far come, interestingly, from European sociologists of religions who specialize in New Religious Movements and Contemporary Religions/Buddhism(s).
Of course. His further assertion that:
The neglect of Modern Tibetan Buddhist movements by classically trained Tibetologists is deplorable;
is arrant nonsense. Classicaly trained Tibetologists are best employed using their admirable talents to study Tibetan culture and religion.
This whole argumentation seems to me like an attempt to give the Danish One a promotion to the holy circle by implying that he is the same kind of person as, for instance the Karmapa or any other fully trained Tibetan lama. No, he has more in common with people like Theos Bernard or Ernst Hoffman (hey, I liked a couple of his books, still have two of them even after all these years).
And as R&R also hints, the very idea of "Everything you need to know about Buddhism" in 200 really rather small pages borders on a joke. To be fair, the publisher may be responsible for the book's title. At a quick glance the contents appear reasonably clear and informed - aside, that is, from the inevitable superficiality. (Mahayana in about 50 small pages. Mahamudra seems to get about two, the same as "Sexual Yoga and Energy Work." But who knows? Re-marketed, it might make a tolerable shorter rival to "Buddhism for Dummies" (don't knock it).
The article is a good example of pseudoscholarship in my humblest of humble opinions.