When Westerners come to Buddhism, they usually approach it through the doors of psychology, history of religions, or perennial philosophy, all of which are dominated by Romantic ways of thinking.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu takes us on a long tour of Romantic philosophy before eventually showing how Romantic sensibilities affected the reception of Buddhism in the West. Most helpful is his list in chapter 7 where he outlines specifically the differences he sees between Buddhism and Western Romanticism. Even if you ultimately disagree with Ajahn Geoff’s analysis, this is still an important work to engage with seriously, as it forces a direct confrontation with our religious assumptions and motivations.