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The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173-1263): A Normative or an Outlier Position in Mahayana Buddhism?
(The second in the “Other Power in Buddhism” series)

In this second panel in the series on “Other Power in Buddhism,” we shall examine what many agree to be its most radical form, the one espoused by Shinran, the founder of Shin or Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Our last year’s panel revealed that the Other Power dimension was quite prevalent in various traditions – not limited to Pure Land Buddhism – as a vital doctrine in Mahayana Buddhism in India, China, Korea, and Japan.

Nevertheless, Shinran’s position has drawn critical assessment in the West. For example, a German scholar of Buddhism, Heinz Bechert, remarked:

“Amida Buddhism has won a broad following throughout all of East Asia, primarily as a folk religion. … [Amidism] takes the ideas of the Buddha and, in a way, twists them into their opposite. The most radical spokesman for this approach is Shinran-Shōnin … .”

We believe there is much in this portrayal that needs to be examined and clarified in order to properly understand the full extent of Shinran’s position. For this, the panelists will examine some elements of the historical background that led to Shinran’s position as well as its manifestations in premodern and modern times.

Full Event Details Here:


Dec 11, 2021 05:00 PM in Vancouver

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