The Self-Awareness of Evil in Pure Land Buddhism: A Translation of Contemporary Kyoto School Philosopher Keta Masako
Abstract

Abstract:

Attending carefully to the thought of Shinran, founder of Shin Buddhism, Keta Masako argues that the awareness of one’s own evil should not be abstracted from our ordinary concern with pleasure and pain. Engaging with the concept of Reue (repentance or remorse) in the moral theories of Kant and Scheler, and with Buddhist ideas of karmic recompense, Keta argues that remorse, propelled by fear, can be deepened into an awareness of the evil at the ground of all forms of life. She explains that Shinran’s insight into this possibility is based on a Buddhist notion of temporality, namely impermanence, which links the problem of evil inextricably with the problem of suffering. Keta grounds this account with a play on the Heideggerian phrase ‘being-toward-death,’ describing human existence in terms of a ‘being-toward-hell.’