An Ancient Doctrine for New Times: 2016 AAR Panel

On behalf of the International Association for Shin Buddhist Studies, North American District, we invite you to the following panel held in conjunction with the 2016 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting.

Please feel free to contact Scott Mitchell with any questions: scott@shin-ibs.edu

Saturday, November 19, 2016, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Grand Hyatt
Lone Star D (2nd Level)
600 E Market St, San Antonio, TX

An Ancient Doctrine for New Times:
The Shinzoku Nitai in Modern Japanese Buddhism

The idea of “two truths” (Jp. shinzoku nitai) is considered to have been first expounded by Nagarjuna, denoting a distinction between absolute and relative truths. However, in Japanese Buddhism – and more specifically in the context of Jōdo Shinshū – this doctrine came to be interpreted in more social terms, representing the relationship between worldly and religious spheres. After the 1868 Meiji restoration, in particular, the “two truths” became an increasingly important doctrinal aspect in the justification of pro-state endeavors by True Pure Land sects. This association between the shinzoku nitai and wartime doctrine ultimately led it to becoming a very delicate subject in the framework of post-1945 Japanese academia, which is not unrelated to the fact that detailed studies of the topic still remain scarce. This panel reconsiders the issue from a broad perspective, paying attention to historical developments not only in the two main branches of True Pure Land Buddhism, but also in the context of modern academic philosophy and Buddhist studies.

Introductory Talk
Mark BLUM (UC Berkeley) Shinzoku Nitai in Buddhism

Presenters
Mami IWATA (Ryukoku University)
The Shinzoku Nitai Doctrine and Jōdo Shinshū in Meiji Japan

Orion KLAUTAU (Tohoku University)
The Two Truths in Modern Academia: Murakami Senshō and the Shinzoku Nitai

Jeff SCHROEDER (University of Oregon)
Rethinking the Two Truths: The Interwar Views of Sasaki Gesshō and Kaneko Daiei

Gereon KOPF (Luther College)
Shinzoku Nitai and the Development of ‘Buddhist Philosophy:’ The Kyoto School and Beyond

Presiding
Daniel G. FRIEDRICH (McMaster University)

Responding
Micah AUERBACK (University of Michigan)

D.T. Suzuki and the Making of a Modern Pure Land Buddhism

We are pleased to announce the following lecture, D. T. Suzuki and the Making of a Modern Pure Land Buddhism, delivered by James Dobbins, Sunday November 23, 2014 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The IASBS hosts events in connection with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, North America’s largest religious studies professional organization. This year, the annual meeting is being held at the San Diego convention center, and we are honored to have Prof. Dobbins speak on this important topic.

James Dobbins is the James H Fairchild Professor of Religion at Oberlin College, Ohio, and has written numerous books on Jodo Shinshu, including Letters of the Nun Eshinni: Images of Pure Land Buddhism in Medieval Japan. His talk focuses on D.T. Suzuki, a figure popularly associated with Zen Buddhism who was also deeply interested in Pure Land Buddhism. In his talk, Prof. Dobbins will examine Suzuki’s attempt to articulate Pure Land Buddhism in a language compatible with modern intellectual concerns, especially the fields of religious studies and philosophy of religion.

A response by Prof. Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, University of Iowa, and discussion will follow.

The talk will be held on
Sunday, November 23 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Omni Hotel
Grand Ballroom B
675 L St, San Diego

and is free and open to the public.

Please contact Scott Mitchell (scott at shin-ibd.edu) with questions.