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Engaged Buddhism in Japan Vol. I

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Engaged Buddhism in Japan Vol. I: An Engaged Buddhist History of Japan from the Ancient to the Modern

By: Jonathan S. Watts

ISBN 978-1-896559-91-9 / 336 pages / 6.14" x 9.21" / includes index + bibliography

These volumes offer a unique perspective outside of the normal scholarly or sectarian historical presentations of Japanese Buddhism. Volume I uses a socially engaged Buddhist lens to examine key themes in the development of Buddhism in Japan, particularly in their socio-political context. The latter half of this volume then charts the struggles of modern Japanese Buddhists to develop a socially engaged perspective and practice amidst the trials and tribulations of modernity, imperialism, war, and postwar economic boom. In this way, Volume I offers the critical historical perspectives for understanding contemporary Japanese Buddhism, which so many in Asia and elsewhere find incomprehensible with “monks” who marry, drink, and live largely secular lives.

“An impressive, ground-breaking overview of Buddhist engagement with Japanese society from the 6th to the dawn of the 21st century. Authored by an American with a time-tested dedication to engaged Buddhism in Japan and beyond, this book will be certain to inspire many who are concerned with the state of Buddhism in Japan to reassess its priorities toward a renewed vision for the future.”  Rev. Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka Prof. Emeritus, Musashino University, Tokyo;  Chair, Editorial Board of the BDK English Tripiṭaka Translation Project