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Empirical and Esoteric: The Birth of Shin Buddhist Studies as a Modern Academic Discipline
Author Schroeder, Jeff
Source Japanese Religions=日本の諸宗教
Volumev.39 n.1&2
Pages95 - 118
PublisherNCC Center for the Study of Japanese Religions=NCC宗教研究所
Publisher Url
Location京都, 日本 [Kyoto, Japan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
KeywordShin Buddhism; Kiyozawa Manshi; Buddhist studies; education; religious experience
AbstractThis paper investigates the creation of modern Shin studies (shinshūgaku 真宗学) as a form of Buddhist studies distinct from modern Buddhist studies and traditional sectarian studies. Seeking to secure a place for Shin Buddhism in the modern academic world, Sasaki Gesshō, Soga Ryōjin, and Kaneko Daiei developed Kiyozawa Manshi’s emphasis on personal religious “experience” into an “empirical” field of study. More specifically, they employed a discourse of personal “confession” to transcend the strictures of traditional sectarian studies; a discourse of “empiricism” to bring Shin studies in line with other academic disciplines; and a discourse of “esotericism” to combat the implications of historicist Buddhist studies. By examining a 1929 public debate between Kaneko Daiei and preeminent Buddhist studies scholar Kimura Taiken, I show these two fields of study to have been in substantive dialogue with one another. This paper thus presents evidence for a more complex understanding of the modern field(s) of Buddhist studies, as well as a more nuanced understanding of “Buddhist modernism” as more than the creation of individual thinkers who floated free beyond the confines of institutional Buddhism and imagined an easy harmony between Buddhism and science.
Table of contents1. The birth of modern Shin studies 99
Sasaki Gesshō 99
Soga Ryōjin 103
Kaneko Daiei 107
2. Shin studies and Buddhist studies in conversation 111
1) Rationality 111
2) Afterlife 112
3) Shin orthodoxy 112
4) History 113
5) Sectarianism 113
3. Conclusion 114
References 115
ISSN04488954 (P)
Created date2017.04.14
Modified date2020.03.05

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