Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism

ISBN-10: 0824827716

ISBN-13: 9780824827717

Edition: 2003

Authors: Jacqueline I. Stone

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Jacqueline Stone¿s groundbreaking study moves beyond the treatment of the original enlightenment doctrine as abstract philosophy to explore its historical dimension. Drawing on a wealth of medieval primary sources and modern Japanese scholarship, it places this discourse in its ritual, institutional, and social contexts, illuminating its importance to the maintenance of traditions of lineage and the secret transmission of knowledge that characterized several medieval Japanese elite culture. It sheds new light on interpretive strategies employed in pre-modern Japanese Buddhist texts, an area that hitherto has received a little attention. Through these and other lines of investigation, Stone problematizes entrenched notions of ¿corruption¿ in the medieval Buddhist establishment. Using the examples of Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism and their interactions throughout the medieval period, she calls into question both overly facile distinctions between ¿old¿ and ¿new¿ Buddhism and the long-standing scholarly assumptions that have perpetuated them. This study marks a significant contribution to ongoing debates over definitions of Buddhism in the Kamakura era (1185¿1333), long regarded as a formative period in Japanese religion and culture. Stone argues that ¿original enlightenment thought¿ represents a substantial rethinking of Buddhist enlightenment that cuts across the distinction between ¿old¿ and ¿new¿ institutions and was particularly characteristic of the medieval period.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Publication date: 1/1/1999
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 566
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.782
Language: English

Stephen F. Teiser is D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies at Princeton University. His research focuses on the interaction between Buddhism and Chinese forms of religion. His book Reinventing the Wheel: Paintings of Rebirth in Medieval Buddhist Templesreceived the Stanislas Julien Prize from the Institut de France.Jacqueline I. Stone is professor of Japanese religions at Princeton University. Her primary research centers on medieval Japanese Buddhism, especially the Tendai and Nichiren Buddhist traditions. Her book Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhismreceived the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Historical Studies).

Charts and Illustrations
Abbreviations and Conventions
Perspectives and Problems
What Is "Original Enlightenment Thought"?
Tendai Hongaku Thought and the New Kamakura Buddhism: Rival Theories
The World of Medieval Tendai
The Culture of Secret Transmission
Hermeneutics, Doctrine, and "Mind-Contemplation"
Tendai Hongaku Thought and the New Kamakura Buddhism: A Reappraisal
Nichiren and His Successors
Nichiren and the New Paradigm
Hokke-Tendai Interactions and the Emergence of a Nichiren Hongaku Discourse
Character Glossary
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