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Critical Buddhism: A Buddhist Hermeneutics of Practice
Author Shields, James Mark (著)
Source Dissertation Abstracts International
Volumev.68 n.3 Section A
PublisherProQuest LLC
Publisher Url
LocationAnn Arbor, MI, US [安娜堡, 密西根州, 美國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
InstitutionMcGill University
DepartmentFaculty of Religious Studies
Publication year2006
KeywordCritical Buddhism; Buddhist; Hermeneutics; Practice
AbstractThis study critically analyzes Critical Buddhism (hihan bukkyō ; hereafter: CB) as a philosophical and a religious movement; it investigates the specific basis of CB, particularly the philosophical categories of critica and topica, vis-à-vis contemporary theories of knowledge and ethics, in order to re-situate CB within modern Japanese and Buddhist thought as well as in relation to current trends in contemporary Western thought.

This study is made up of seven chapters, including the introduction and the conclusion. The introduction provides the religious and philosophical context as well as the motivations and intentions of the study. Chapter 2 with the title "Eye of the Storm: Historical and Political Context" is largely explanatory. After a brief analysis of violence, warfare and social discrimination within Buddhism and specifically Japanese traditions, some important background to the context in which Critical Buddhism arose is recalled. In addition, the development of so-called Imperial Way Zen (kōdōzen )—which represents in many respects the culmination of the 'false' Buddhism the Critical Buddhists attack—is examined. The following chapter on the roots of topica analyses a number of the larger epistemological and ethical issues raised by CB, in an attempt to reinterpret both 'criticalism' and 'topicalism' with reference to four key motifs in Zen tradition: experience (jikishi-ninshin: "directly pointing to the human mind [in order to realize the Buddha-nature]" [B.]); tradition (kyōge-betsuden: "an independent transmission apart from written scriptures" [M. 6, 28]); language (furyū-moji or furyū-monji: "not relying on words and letters" [M. 6]); and enlightenment (kenshō jōbutsu: "awakening to one's original Nature [and thus becoming a Buddha]" [Dan. 29]). Here and in Chapter 4, on "New Buddhisms: Problems in Modern Zen Thought," the CB argument against the many sources of topical thinking is outlined, paying particular attention to question of 'pure experience' (junsui keiken) developed by Nishida Kitarō and the Kyoto School. Chapter 5 on "Criticism as Anamnesis: Dempō/Dampō" develops the positive side of the CB case, i.e., a truly 'critical' Buddhism, with respect to the place of historical consciousness and the weight of tradition. Chapter 6, "Radical Contingency and Compassion," develops the theme of radical contingency, based on the core Buddhist doctrine of pratītya-samutpāda (Jp. engi) as the basis for an effective Critical Buddhist epistemological and ethical strategy. The conclusion elaborates a paradigm for comparative scholarship that integrates the insights of Western philosophical hermeneutics, pragmatism, CB, and so-called 'Buddhist theology'. The implications of the Critical Buddhist project on the traditional understanding of the relation between scholarship and religion are examined, and also the reconnection of religious consciousness to social conscience, which CB believes to be the genius of Buddhism and which makes of CB both an unfinished project and an ongoing challenge.
ISBN0494252537; 9780494252536
Created date2008.04.22
Modified date2022.04.06

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