As far as I am aware, Mr George Blake is still alive and 94 years old. He fought in the Royal Air Force during WWII, and was probably the first ever ‘Black’ Buddhist monk.
In the 19th century, the Hakka people rose-up against the Qing Dynasty (Taiping Uprising), combining Missionary Christianity, with Chinese Cosmology – with a ‘new’ Chinese ‘Son of God’.
The Venerable Nyanatiloka Maha-Thera (1878-1957) was an eminent German-born Theravada Buddhist monk who entered the Sangha in Sri Lanka, and became renowned for exact and precise scholarly understanding of that school’s complex Dharma teaching. He possessed the ability to a) understand and contextualise often obscure Pali terms and concepts, and b) correctly transliterate and translate those terms into Western languages. His work regarding the Theravada School is reliable and insightful.
May all beings be happy and free from suffering!
Occasionally, the Ch’an Records indicate that monastics on occasion learned from enlightened members of the lay community. Never take on airs and graces, because a vagrant living under a bridge might well be another Vimalakirti.
Indeed, in the Vinaya Discipline, a member of the Sangha is defined as someone who has left the life of a householder and taken the all the monastic vows as decreed within the Vinaya Discipline. The breaking of these vows either attracts reforming behaviour, or expulsion from the order. However, the Vinaya Discipline also defines a ‘member of the Sangha’ as someone who has ‘realised emptiness’ irrespective as to whether they have renounced the lay-life.