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Protestant Character of Modern Buddhist Movements

Protestant Character of Modern Buddhist Movements MODERN BUDDHIST MOVEMENTS 59 YUKIO MATSUDO University of Heidelberg What is the relationship between ritual and ethical activities in Nichiren Buddhism, as practiced in the Soka Gakkai (SG)? SG is a lay Buddhist organization which is, as such, involved extensively in secular affairs, specifically in the field of educational, cultural, social, and peace-promoting programs. The question is, therefore, not at all whether there is a connection of religious practice and ethical activities. Rather it begs an explanation regarding its ideological background. In this respect a further reflec- tion on a metareflection level would be useful to clarify the “modern” character of SG, which may be discussed in relation to Christian Protestantism since it has been regarded as a spiritual background for the formation of modern ethos such as indi- vidualism, egalitarianism, and social engagement. Thus, I will depict the funda- mental feature of Nichiren Buddhism as “reformative Buddhism,” which makes the practice of Buddhism congruent with “modern” understanding of religious roles in daily life as well as social engagement. On the other hand, I will also discuss some problems being inherent to the Western acculturation of the reformed and “engaged Buddhism.” the ethical activities of the sg in the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Protestant Character of Modern Buddhist Movements

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 20 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472

Abstract

MODERN BUDDHIST MOVEMENTS 59 YUKIO MATSUDO University of Heidelberg What is the relationship between ritual and ethical activities in Nichiren Buddhism, as practiced in the Soka Gakkai (SG)? SG is a lay Buddhist organization which is, as such, involved extensively in secular affairs, specifically in the field of educational, cultural, social, and peace-promoting programs. The question is, therefore, not at all whether there is a connection of religious practice and ethical activities. Rather it begs an explanation regarding its ideological background. In this respect a further reflec- tion on a metareflection level would be useful to clarify the “modern” character of SG, which may be discussed in relation to Christian Protestantism since it has been regarded as a spiritual background for the formation of modern ethos such as indi- vidualism, egalitarianism, and social engagement. Thus, I will depict the funda- mental feature of Nichiren Buddhism as “reformative Buddhism,” which makes the practice of Buddhism congruent with “modern” understanding of religious roles in daily life as well as social engagement. On the other hand, I will also discuss some problems being inherent to the Western acculturation of the reformed and “engaged Buddhism.” the ethical activities of the sg in the

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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