A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism
June 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism offers a comprehensive, nuanced, and chronological account of the evolution of Buddhist religion in Japan from the sixth century to the present day.
- Traces each period of Japanese history to reveal the complex and often controversial histories of Japanese Buddhists and their unfolding narratives
- Examines relevant social, political, and transcultural contexts, and places an emphasis on Japanese Buddhist discourses and material culture
- Addresses the increasing competition between Buddhist, Shinto, and Neo-Confucian world-views through to the mid-nineteenth century
- Informed by the most recent research, including the latest Japanese and Western scholarship
- Illustrates the richness and complexity of Japanese Buddhism as a lived religion, offering readers a glimpse into the development of this complex and often misunderstood tradition
List of Illustrations vii
1 Early Historical Contexts (Protohistory to 645) 13
2 Ancient Buddhism (645–950) 45
3 Early Medieval Buddhism (950–1300): The Dawn of Medieval Society and Related Changes in Japanese Buddhist Culture 87
4 Late Medieval Buddhism (1300–1467): New Buddhisms, Buddhist Learning, Dissemination and the Fall into Chaos 135
5 Buddhism and the Transition to the Modern Era (1467–1800) 171
6 Modern Buddhism (1800–1945) 209
7 Buddhism Since 1945 231
Character Glossary 255
William E. Deal is Severance Professor of the History of Religion in the Department of Religious Studies and Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, and Associate Director for Digital Humanities at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. He is the author of Theory for Religious Studies (with Timothy K. Beal, 2005) and Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan (2006).Brian Ruppert is Associate Professor of Japanese Religions at the University of Illinois, where he is a faculty member in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Religion. His publications include Jewel in the Ashes: Buddha Relics and Power in Early Medieval Japan (2000), "Buddhism in Japan" (Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., 2005), and "Buddhism and Law in Japan" (Buddhism and Law: An Introduction, 2014).
“In short, this study is a welcome contribution to the field and will make an excellent textbook for the classroom.” (Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 1 October 2015)
"The great value of the book is to direct readers to approaches and theories perhaps overlooked by more general histories of Buddhism. Each chapter includes its own bibliography and notes, making the book useful for study of narrow sections of Japan’s history." (Buddhist Art News 2016)
Professors Deal and Ruppert offer a detailed account of the rich diversity of Japanese Buddhist traditions from the sixth century to the present, paying close attention to social context. This comprehensive volume draws together the most recent developments in scholarship for each historical period and redresses many of the gaps in prior overviews. It will serve for years to come as a welcome introduction to students and a valuable reference for specialists.
Jacqueline Stone, Princeton University