Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Dharma Studies

Volume Number



Publisher PDF: the final published version of the article, with professional formatting and typesetting

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


While the canon is replete with biographies of individual spiritual exemplars—Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain, and the Dalai Lama’s Freedom in Exile come to mind—few have examined exemplars across faiths. This collection focuses on Hindu masters from many different perspectives and practices, as well as a variety of Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh masters. The editors set their focus on religious leaders and spiritual guides who have served as sources of inspiration and “dispellers of darkness.” Their introduction discusses the defining characteristics of these “beacons of Dharma,” recognizing that the Sanskrit term dharma is “polyvalent and uniquely understood within each traditional context.” (xiii) The editors invite the contributing authors to uncover new scholarship regarding the “distinctive philosophies, ethical commitments, over- all life work, etc.” of their subjects and to offer insightful proposals about “how the remedial and redemptive power embodied by each...can best serve our contemporary world.” (ix) The chapters are woven around these central themes.


Tsomo, K.L. Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age. Edited by Christopher Patrick Miller, Michael Reading, and Jeffery D. Long. Landham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020. DHARM (2023).