Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism
Rennyo is undeniably one of the most influential persons in the history of Japanese religion and yet his thought remains somewhat enigmatic from the standpoint of what is considered orthodox Shinshu doctrine today. This book, which collects ten unpublished essays by both Japanese and non-Japanese scholars, will be the first to confront many of the major questions surrounding the phenomenal growth of Honganji under Rennyo's leadership, such as the source of his charisma, the soteriological implications of his thought against the background of other movements in Pure Land Buddhism, and the relationship between his ideas and the growth of his church. The volume is intended as an important first step in expanding the field of Rennyo studies outside Japan, and to provide significant stimulus to the fields of Japanese religion, Japanese social history, comparative religion, and sociology of religion.