The transformations Buddhism has been undergoing in the modern age have inspired much research over the last decade. The main focus of attention has been the phenomenon known as Buddhist modernism, which is defined as a conscious attempt to adjust Buddhist teachings and practices in conformity with the modern norms of rationality, science, or gender equality. This book advances research on Buddhist modernism by attempting to clarify the highly diverse ways in which Buddhist faith, thought, and practice have developed in the modern age, both in Buddhist heartlands in Asia and in the West. It presents a collection of case studies that, taken together, demonstrate how Buddhist traditions interact with modern phenomena such as colonialism and militarism, the market economy, global interconnectedness, the institutionalization of gender equality, and recent historical events such as de-industrialization and the socio-cultural crisis in post-Soviet Buddhist areas. This volume shows how the (re)invention of traditions constitutes an important pathway in the development of Buddhist modernities and emphasizes the pluralistic diversity of these forms in different settings.
1 Buddhist Modernities: Modernism and its Limits
Part 1: Early Meetings with Modernity
2 The Scope and Limits of Secular Buddhism: Watanabe Kaikyoku (1868-1912) and the Japanese New Buddhist "Discovery of Society"
James Mark Shields
3 Buddhism and the Capitalist Transformation of Modern Japan: Sada Kaiseki (1818-1882), Uchiyama Gudō (1874-1911), and Itō Shōshin (1876-1963)
4 Parsing Buddhist Modernity in Republican China: Ten Contrasting Terms
Justin R. Ritzinger
5 Seeking the Colonizer’s Favours for a Buddhist Vision: the Korean Buddhist Nationalist Paek Yongsŏng’s (1864-1940) Imje Sŏn Movement
Part 2: Revivals and Neo-Traditionalist Inventions
6 Buddhism in Contemporary Kalmykia: "Pure" Monasticism versus Challenges of Post-Soviet Modernity
7 Buddhist Modernity and New-Age Spirituality in Contemporary Mongolia
8 Yumaism: A new Syncretic Religion among the Himalayan Limbus
Part 3: Contemporary Sangha-State Relations
9 Failed Secularisation, New Nationalism and Governmentality: The Rise of Buddhism in Post-Mao China
10 Militarized Masculinity with Buddhist Characteristics: Buddhist Chaplains and their Role in the South Korean Army
11 Re-Enchantment Restricted: Popular Buddhism and Politics in Vietnam Today
Aike P. Rots
12 "Buddhism Has Made Asia Mild…" – The Modernist Construction of Buddhism as Pacifism
Part 4: Institutional Modernity
"The strength of the book lies in how the authors consistently emphasize the tangled global history of their subjects, detailing how Buddhism’s interaction with modernity and modernism is part of a multifaceted dialogue between actors from a variety of cultural backgrounds."
-Per Faxneld, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Religious Studies Review