Discourse and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Discourse and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism

1st Edition

Edited by Richard K. Payne, Taigen Dan Leighton


272 pages

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The medieval period of Japanese religious history is commonly known as one in which there was a radical transformation of the religious culture. This book suggests an alternate approach to understanding the dynamics of that transformation. One main topic of analysis focuses on what Buddhism - its practices and doctrines, its traditions and institutions - meant for medieval Japanese peoples themselves. This is achieved by using the notions of discourse and ideology and juxtaposing various topics on shared linguistic practices and discursive worlds of medieval Japanese Buddhism.

Collating contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of Buddhist Studies, the editors have created an important work that builds on preliminary work on rethinking the importance and meaning of Kamakura Buddhism published recently in English, and adds greatly to the debate.

Table of Contents

Richard K. Payne Preface

Richard K. Payne, with Taigen Dan Leighton Introduction

Dale Wright Metaphor and Theory of Cultural Change: In Search of Skillful Means for Understanding Kamakura Buddhism

Mark Blum The Sangoku-Mappø Construct: Buddhism, Nationalism, and History in Medieval Japan

Fabio Rambelli Materiality and Performativity of Sacred Texts in Medieval Japan

Richard K. Payne Awakening and Language: Indic Theories of Language in the Background of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism

James Ford Buddhist Ceremonials (Køshiki) and the Ideological Discourse of Established Buddhism in Early Medieval Japan

Mark Unno The Body of Time and the Discourse of Precepts

Ryuichi Abe Myøe’s Mount Laçkå: Mantra, Landscape, and Medieval Japanese Poetics

Jacqueline Stone ’Not Mere Words’: Perspectives on the Language of the Lotus S¥tra in Medieval Japan

Taigen Leighton The Lotus Sutra as a Source for Døgen’s Discourse Style

Steven Heine Empty-Handed, But Not Empty-Headed: Døgen’s Køan Strategies

Eisho Nasu "Rely on the Meaning, Not the Words": Shinran’s Methodology of Reading Scriptures and Strategy of Writing of the Kyøgyøshinshø

About the Editors

Richard K. Payne is Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He was convener of the doctoral program in the Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions from 1996 to 2002. His most recent publications include Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitabha, with Kenneth Tanaka, and Tantric Buddhism in East Asia.

Taigen Dan Leighton is currently Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California. He received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues. The series is expansive and imaginative in scope, spanning more than two and a half millennia of Buddhist history. It is receptive to all research works that are of significance and interest to the broader field of Buddhist Studies.

Some of the titles in the series are published in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, which conducts and promotes rigorous teaching and research into all forms of the Buddhist tradition.

Editorial Advisory Board:
James A. Benn, McMaster University, Canada

Jinhua Chen, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol, UK

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK

Sallie King, James Madison University, USA

Anne Klein, Rice University, USA

Lori Meeks, University of Southern California, USA;

Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

John Powers, Australian National University, Australia;

Juliane Schober, Arizona State University, USA

Vesna A. Wallace, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Michael Zimmermann, University of Hamburg, Germany

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
RELIGION / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General