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The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition (vol 2)
This page has details on “The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition (vol 2)”, edited by Alfred Bloom
Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition, The: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching (vol 2)
Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition, The: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching (vol 2)
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Buddhism

Price:  $22.95

ISBN:  978-1-936597-38-3
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  208
Language:  English



Description
This second volume of passages gathered from the leading monks and teachers of the Pure Land, or Shin, school of Buddhist teaching focuses on religious practice. Extending from the foundational texts and first interpreters in the 4th century, to Rennyo in the 15th century, Professor Bloom’s selections trace the development of Shin Buddhist teaching from monastic visualization practices to the widely popular path to salvation through faith in, and recitation of, the name of Amida Buddha. Volume 2 features a foreword by Kenneth K. Tanaka and an introduction by renowned scholar and editor, Alfred Bloom, whose selected passages have been arranged topically for easy reference on issues of Pure Land teaching. The key interpreters featured are the Seven Great Teachers from India, China, and Japan (Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu; T’an-luan, Tao-ch’o, Shan-tao; Genshin, Honen), selected as doctrinal authorities by Shinran (1173-1263), the founder of the Japanese Pure Land sect.
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Details on “The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition (vol 2

This second volume of passages gathered from the leading monks and teachers of the Pure Land, or Shin, school of Buddhist teaching focuses on religious practice. Extending from the foundational texts and first interpreters in the 4th century, to Rennyo in the 15th century, Professor Bloom’s selections trace the development of Shin Buddhist teaching from monastic visualization practices to the widely popular path to salvation through faith in, and recitation of, the name of Amida Buddha. Volume 2 features a foreword by Kenneth K. Tanaka and an introduction by renowned scholar and editor, Alfred Bloom, whose selected passages have been arranged topically for easy reference on issues of Pure Land teaching. The key interpreters featured are the Seven Great Teachers from India, China, and Japan (Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu; T’an-luan, Tao-ch’o, Shan-tao; Genshin, Honen), selected as doctrinal authorities by Shinran (1173-1263), the founder of the Japanese Pure Land sect.

There is a wonderful in-depth interview with the editor of the book, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom, on the website of Tricycle Magazine. Tricycle is one of the most important current magazines or journals on Buddhism. To preface the interview, Jeff Wilson, the interviewer, remarks that Dr. Bloom “is widely regarded as one of the most important American figures of the past five decades in the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism.” Readers will find that the interview reveals much about Bloom's personal relationship with Buddhism, but there are also many moments where Bloom takes the role of the consummate teacher, often clarifying important aspects of Shinran's teachings. This fascinating piece can be found on the Tricycle website by clicking here.


The author and writer of the “Foreword”

Alfred Bloom

Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom (1926–2017) was one of the world's foremost authorities on the study of Shin Buddhism. He taught World Religions and Buddhism at the University of Oregon and the University of Hawaii and wrote many books and articles on Shin Buddhism and spirituality in general. Prof. Bloom was Dean at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, sponsored by the Buddhist Churches of America. He was an ordained Shin priest. About Dr. Bloom, the well-known Buddhist magazine Tricycle: The Buddhist Review said: “Bloom is widely regarded as one of the most important American figures of the past five decades in the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism.”

Prof. Bloom's contributions to World Wisdom books include:


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Kenneth K. Tanaka

Dr. Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka is an author, editor, scholar, and translator whose work focuses on Buddhism. He has also been ordained as a Jōdo Shinshū priest. Dr. Tanaka has authored and edited many articles and books, including The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine, Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America, and Amerika bukkyo (American Buddhism). Dr. Kenneth K. Tanaka has contributed the “Forewords” to a two-volume World Wisdom work edited by Dr. Alfred Bloom: The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching (vol 1). The forthcoming second volume of this work also features a “Foreword” by Dr. Tanaka.

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Reviews of “The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition (vol 2

The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching (volume 2) is a truly exceptional collection under the deft and knowledgeable editorship of Alfred Bloom (an ordained Shin minister and member of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission), making it strongly recommended reading to students of Buddhism, as well as a valued addition to community and academic library Buddhist Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.”
Library Bookwatch, a publication of Midwest Book Review



The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching; Volume Two, edited by Alfred Bloom, is an exceptional book that expertly and accessibly brings together fourth- to fifteenth-century East Asian Pure Land writings, including sermons, poetry, letters, commentaries, and more. With its focus on the religious practice of the Pure Land Teachings, this volume offers existing Pure Land Buddhists as well as curious newcomers a compelling immersion into the spiritually rich world of the Pure Land philosophy.

“The Pure Land teachings are founded on the myriad interpretations of Amida Buddha’s controversial eighteenth vow, which asserts that anyone who faithfully recites Amida Buddha’s name a minimum of ten times before death will be guaranteed rebirth in the Pure Land, a heaven-like place where one is freed from the wheels of rebirth, regardless of past karma or bad behavior in one’s present life. Most often interpreted as a compassionate gesture to the masses of humanity who, due to ignorance or lack of exposure to the Buddha’s teachings, were otherwise destined for the many levels of hell or an all-but-unattainable enlightenment, the eighteenth vow’s promise was a game changer in early Buddhism.

“The well-organized content of The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching; Volume Two shares multiple analyses of the eighteenth vow by preeminent monks and teachers whose writings span eleven centuries. Their spiritually and historically relevant debates about who gets into the Pure Land and how it is to be done often feel like explorations of contemporary existential issues in the local coffee shop.

“The first section, ‘Pure Land Practice,’ has twelve subsections with titles such as ‘Aspiration for Birth in the Pure Land, Repentance, Gratitude,’ and ‘Self-Power and Other-Power.’ These writings delve into the minutiae of how much or how little faith one actually needs for salvation, and whether the devout and long-practicing monk is any more likely to attain rebirth in the Pure Land than the most lowly and evil person who, for the first time, recites Amida Buddha’s name on his deathbed.

“These themes carry over into the second section, ‘The Human Condition,’ the first subsection of which is aptly titled ‘Foolish Being.’ One of the more inspiring scholars, Genshin, proposes, ‘If we recite the nembutsu [Amida Buddha’s name] while resigned to the fact that we are to remain ordinary beings full of delusion until death, we shall be received in welcome by Amida; then, as soon as we mount the lotus seat, our mind of delusion will be turned into that of Enlightenment.’

“Bloom has done an exemplary job of editing this professionally packaged two-hundred-plus-page book. The foreword and introduction provide a valuable overview of Shin Buddhism and the Pure Land teachings that will help even the most unfamiliar reader. The variety of millennia-spanning writing styles, from serious and dogmatic to gentle and conversational, adds value and readability to this collection, as does the inclusion of many beautiful poems and a highly usable glossary. Buddhist scholars and general readers alike will find much to enjoy in this welcome second volume of The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching.
—Patty Sutherland, from a review in ForeWord Reviews


The Contents of this Book:

Acknowledgments

Foreword by Kenneth K. Tanaka

Introduction by Alfred Bloom

Conventions

II. Teachings of the Pure Land Tradition (Cont.)

H. Pure Land Practice

1. General Approach to Practice

2. Devotion to Amida and All Buddhas

3. Aspiration for Birth in the Pure Land

4. Contemplation/Meditation on the Buddha and Visualization of the Pure Land

5. Name-Nembutsu

6. Benefits

7. Repentance

8. Gratitude

9. Merit Transference

10. Self-Power and Other-Power

11. Learning: The Good Teacher

12. Sharing Dharma

a. Bodhisattva in Return

I. The Human Condition

1. Foolish Being

a. Impermanence

b. Equality: Non-discrimination

c. Daily Life

d. Licensed Evil

e. Practice of Compassion

f. On the Death of Loved Ones

2. Personal Confessions

3. Karma

4. Violation of Dharma and Retribution

5. Doubt

6. Doctrinal Disputes/Deviations and Regulations

J. Philosophical Aspects

K. Pure Land Tradition

L. Society and Ethics

Selected Glossary

Bibliography

Index of Quoted Sources

Biographical Notes




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