Shin Buddhist Education: A New Perspective
by Rev. Seigen H. Yamaoka
Shin Buddhist Education: A New Perspective by Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka is the result of a lifetime of study, reflection, and most importantly direct ministry with ordinary laypeople. Rev. Yamaoka saw a gap between the emphasis on doctrine found in much ministerial education and the needs of members of the Shin Buddhist community in today's world. He developed a method of religious education designed to bridge that gap, bringing the teachings of Shinran Shonin into the present and showing how they can help the temple members he encountered negotiate the difficulties in their lives. The structure of the six aspects of endowed shinjin and the six characteristics of the human life process Rev. Yamaoka has developed offer a framework for thinking about the relation between minister and community, in what the author notes is often a long process. The sixfold framework discussed in depth in this work is illustrated in poignant stories of the struggles and issues faced by individual community members whom he has counseled over the years.
The work of ministry demands a deep level of sincerity and personal commitment. Rev. Yamaoka's lifelong experience and his commitment to develop a structured system through which a relationship of mutual openness can be developed will benefit all those who suffer in the seas of karma.