By James Mark Shields
Within the overdue Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties, the relative calm international of eastern Buddhist scholarship used to be thrown into chaos with the ebook of numerous works via Buddhist students Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shiro, devoted to the merchandising of anything they referred to as serious Buddhism (hihan bukkyo). of their quest to reestablish a 'true' - rational, moral and humanist - type of East Asian Buddhism, the serious Buddhists undertook a thorough deconstruction of ancient and modern East Asian Buddhism, quite Zen. whereas their arguable paintings has got a few recognition in English-language scholarship, this can be the 1st book-length therapy of serious Buddhism as either a philosophical and non secular circulation, the place the traces among scholarship and perform blur. offering a severe and confident research of severe Buddhism, fairly the epistemological different types of critica and topica, this ebook examines modern theories of information and ethics that allows you to situate serious Buddhism inside smooth eastern and Buddhist notion in addition to with regards to present developments in modern Western concept.
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Additional info for Critical Buddhism, Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought
This ideology, which came to be called “Japanism” (Nihonshugi), denoted a belief in the cultural, spiritual, military, and sometimes, in its more extreme forms, racial superiority of the Japanese people. The term Nihonshugi came to prominence in 1897 due to the writings of nationalists like the writer and critic Takayama Chogyū (Rinjirō) (1871–1902), and scholars Kimura Takatarō (1870–1931) and Inoue Tetsujirō (1855–1944). Within the rhetoric of Japanism, foreign ideals were not simply rejected, but severely criticized as both inferior and dangerous.
As Hakamaya and Matsumoto would ask (as did Tosaka Jun before them), what is the point of Nishidan “awareness” or “experience” without a practical/ ethical element? ” It seems no less problematic that Tanabe continued to press for a single path for all Japanese. 37 Beyond these specific debates concerning the Kyoto School’s involvement with militarist ideology, we must extend the issue to include the role and place of Buddhism within the development of modern Japanese nationalism. , misused—in service of an all-powerful nationalist ideology?
47, for remarks on the “paradox” of modern nationalism. ”64 Here James Heisig’s insightful remarks are worth quoting: As the [Restoration] leadership grew more confident, it spread its authority in two very different if not contradictory directions made to look complementary. On the one hand it guided the education system to preserve the traditional values that had been the bulwark of social harmony … On the other hand, the government was determined to build itself up militarily to protect its prosperity … All of these factors came into play within the sphere of a single generation, seeding the Japanese soul with the makings of a mass neurosis of preoccupation with its own identity.