We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Cultivating Spirituality

A Modern Shin Buddhist Anthology

Mark L. Blum, Robert F. Rhodes

Publication Year: 2011

Four Shin Buddhist thinkers reflect on their tradition’s encounter with modernity. Cultivating Spirituality is a seminal anthology of Shin Buddhist thought, one that reflects this tradition’s encounter with modernity. Shin (or Jodo Shinshu) is a popular form of Pure Land Buddhism, the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in Japan, but is only now becoming well known in the West. The lives of the four thinkers included in the book spanned the years 1863–1982, from the Meiji opening to the West to Japan’s establishment as an industrialized democracy and world economic power. Kiyozawa Manshi, Soga Ryojin, Kaneko Daiei, and Yasuda Rjin, all associated with Kyoto’s Otani University, dealt with the spiritual concerns of a society undergoing great change. Their philosophical orientation known as “Seishinshugi” (“cultivating spirituality”) provides a set of principles that prioritized personal, subjective experience as the basis for religious understanding. In addition to providing access to work generally unavailable in English, this volume also includes both a contextualizing introduction and introductions to each figure included.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright page

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.1 KB)
pp. iii-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF (65.6 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (319.3 KB)
pp. vii-x

Since its entry to Japan from the continent, Buddhism has flowed like a great stream through Japanese history. Within that stream, the most notable developments were made in the ancient capital of Nara and on Mounts Hiei and Kōya. Among these three centers, however, the most important was Mt. Hiei...


pdf iconDownload PDF (312.4 KB)
pp. xi-xii

read more

Chapter 1: Shin Buddhism in the Meiji Period

pdf iconDownload PDF (570.1 KB)
pp. 1-52

Discerning changes in religion within a culture tells us as much about that culture as observing its political changes, if not more so, but unlike the latter that manifest in ways usually noticed quickly by public media, knowing how and when shifts in religious thinking occur can be immensely complicated. ...

Kiyozawa Manshi

pdf iconDownload PDF (306.5 KB)
pp. 55-98

read more

Chapter 2: Kiyozawa Manshi: Life and Thought

pdf iconDownload PDF (426.4 KB)
pp. 55-65

Kiyozawa Manshi 清沢満之 (1863–1903) lived a short life of only forty or forty-one (in Japanese counting) years, and lived it at a time of tremendous upheaval in Japan and especially within Japanese Buddhism. A deeply religious individual, he appears to us today as a...

read more

Chapter 3: Why Do Buddhists Lack Self-Respect?

pdf iconDownload PDF (418.7 KB)
pp. 67-76

Though a day has never passed without someone disrespecting a Buddhist monk, the situation has never been as bad as it is today.1 While it may be true that the main cause of this is the clergy’s ignorance and lack of study, it may also stem from the paucity of self-respect...

read more

Chapter 4: Negotiating Religious Morality and Common Morality

pdf iconDownload PDF (441.4 KB)
pp. 77-91

Recently, some people have asked why it is that even though morality is said to be the most important issue in the world of man, we do not pay respect to it in the pages of Seishinkai and even show a tendency to dispense with it. Other people argue as follows: Even though the...

read more

Chapter 5: The Nature of My Faith

pdf iconDownload PDF (414.1 KB)
pp. 93-98

As is my wont, I frequently speak about such things as “faith” (shinnen 信念) or “tathågata” (nyorai 如來). But what do I mean by “my faith”? What is this tathågata to which I profess my faith? Here, I will try to answer these questions...

Soga Ryojin

pdf iconDownload PDF (311.1 KB)
pp. 99-156

read more

Chapter 6: Soga Ryōjin: Life and Thought

pdf iconDownload PDF (329.1 KB)
pp. 101-106

Soga Ryøjin 曽我量深 (1875–1971) was arguably the most innovative thinker in the history of modern Shin Buddhism.1 Following in Kiyozawa Manshi’s footsteps, he sought to express his teacher’s insights in terms of traditional Shin Buddhist discourse. Soga was born as the...

read more

Chapter 7: A Savior on Earth: The Meaning of Dharmakara Bodhisattva's Advent

pdf iconDownload PDF (346.2 KB)
pp. 107-118

Toward the beginning of July last year (1912), at the home of my friend Kaneko1 in Takada,2 it dawned on me that “The Tathågata (i.e., Amida Buddha) is myself.” Then, toward the end of August, this time at Akegarasu’s3 place in Kaga,4 I was handed the phrase...

read more

Chapter 8: Shinran's View of Buddhist History

pdf iconDownload PDF (369.1 KB)
pp. 119-138

To all gathered here to celebrate my sixtieth birthday by these three days of lectures my heartfelt thanks. In case you are wondering what I meant by affixing the title "Shinran's View of Buddhist History" to these lectures, it has something to do with the founding of our...

read more

Chapter 9: Lectures on the Tannishō

pdf iconDownload PDF (370.4 KB)
pp. 139-156

With regard to good and evil, we usually imagine that they can be managed by our human free will. Good and evil would then be clearly delineated and human beings would be endowed from birth with moral reason. By means of that moral reason, given to us as...

Kaneko Daiei

pdf iconDownload PDF (311.1 KB)
pp. 157-213

read more

Chapter 10: Kaneko Daiei: Life and Thought

pdf iconDownload PDF (352.3 KB)
pp. 159-171

Kaneko Daiei 金子大栄 (1881–1976), an influential modern Shin Buddhist scholar, was born in Takada 高田 (now Jōetsu city) in Niigata Prefecture.1 He was the eldest of nine children born to Kaneko Yūei 金子勇栄, the priest of the Shin Buddhist temple Saikenji, and his...

read more

Chapter 11: Prolegomena to Shin Buddhist Studies

pdf iconDownload PDF (439.6 KB)
pp. 173-213

Shin Buddhism teaches us to go to the Pure Land by saying the nenbutsu. That’s all. Since that’s all there is to the teaching of Shin Buddhism, is there any need to study it academically? This, I heard, was the question once posed by a person connected with the government’s...

Yasuda Rijin

pdf iconDownload PDF (306.6 KB)
pp. 215-265

read more

Chapter 12: Yasuda Rijin: Shin Philosopher of Self-Awareness

pdf iconDownload PDF (339.9 KB)
pp. 217-225

Yasuda Rijin 安田理深 (1900–1982) inherited the legacy of the Shin leaders introduced in the preceding chapters, but he had a special relationship to his teacher Soga Ryōjin. Soga’s emphasis on the Yogācāra School of Mahāyāna philosophy in interpreting the Shin tradition gave...

read more

Chapter 13: The Practical Understanding of Buddhism

pdf iconDownload PDF (326.7 KB)
pp. 227-232

It goes without saying that to study within the Buddhist path and to study the Buddhist path have different standpoints. To study within the Buddhist path is to study the self within the Buddhist path. The standpoint of studying the self within the Buddhist path already...

read more

Chapter 14: The Mirror of Nothingness

pdf iconDownload PDF (323.6 KB)
pp. 233-237

That which is called the Complete One, the One Dharmadhåtu1 is the ultimate object of questing of sentient beings as self-aware existences. As long as the problem of sentient beings remains within the bounds of a problem of knowledge or a problem of realism, it is like an...

read more

Chapter 15: A Name but Not a Name Alone

pdf iconDownload PDF (385.2 KB)
pp. 239-265

I have put forth the title “A Name but Not a Name Alone,” but that was simply a last resort. When world-famous scholar Professor Paul Tillich came to Japan in early July (of 1960), I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him through the efforts of people at Higashi...

Combined Glossary

pdf iconDownload PDF (346.5 KB)
pp. 267-277


pdf iconDownload PDF (474.5 KB)
pp. 279-297


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.8 MB)
pp. 299-309

E-ISBN-13: 9781438439839
E-ISBN-10: 1438439830
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438439815
Print-ISBN-10: 1438439814

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 4 b/w photographs
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Pure Land Buddhism.
  • Japan -- Religion.
  • Shin (Sect).
  • Religious life -- Shin (Sect).
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access