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By James Mark Shields

Within the overdue Nineteen Eighties and early Nineties, the relative calm international of jap Buddhist scholarship used to be thrown into chaos with the booklet of a number of works by way of Buddhist students Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shiro, devoted to the promoting of whatever 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 historic and modern East Asian Buddhism, relatively Zen. whereas their arguable paintings has obtained a few cognizance in English-language scholarship, this is often the 1st book-length remedy of serious Buddhism as either a philosophical and non secular move, the place the traces among scholarship and perform blur. offering a severe and positive research of serious Buddhism, really the epistemological different types of critica and topica, this booklet examines modern theories of information and ethics for you to situate severe Buddhism inside glossy jap and Buddhist inspiration in addition to in terms of present traits in modern Western idea.

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17, emphasis mine. T. Suzuki’s Nostalgic Double Journeys,” Eastern Buddhist, New Series, 33/2 [2001]: pp. 129–51). While Hagiwara raises some valid points about Western readings of Suzuki and Zen, this essay is marred, like Suzuki’s own works, by a heavy-handed emphasis on East-West-ism, and the familiar, unsupportable contention that “the Western mindset is dualistic … that of the East or Japan, non-dualistic” (p. 130). Critical Buddhism 36 Suzuki does not mince words. The war with China, he claims, is not a war for resources or a necessary defense against encroaching Western colonialism, as was (and remains) the common refrain.

43–9. 57 Robert Bellah, Tokugawa Religion: The Values of Pre-Industrial Japan (Glencoe, 1957), pp. 16–17. 58 Rinzai master Takuan (1573–1645), in a letter to his patron, the warrior and master swordsman Yagyū Tajima-no-kami Muneyoshi (1527–1606), wrote: The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness. It is like a flash of lightning. The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword … Do not get your mind stopped with the sword you raise, forget about what you are doing, and strike the enemy.

11 Harris attributes this to the fact that whatever the sincerity of their personal convictions, as heads of state, those involved with spreading the religion were primarily concerned with maintaining stability within their realms and defeating external enemies. The Roman Emperor Constantine (“the Great,” 273– 337 CE) is a prime example, but even the lately lionized Indian Buddhist Emperor Aśoka (“the Great,” 299–237 BCE) falls into this category. Ironically, the socalled nonkilling religions’ emphasis on compassion may have persuaded enemies to let themselves be captured, thus facilitating political expansionism.

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