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Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Intellectual History

Immanent Frames: Meiji New Buddhism And The 'Religious Secular', James Shields Jun 2017

Immanent Frames: Meiji New Buddhism And The 'Religious Secular', James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The secularization thesis, rooted in the idea that “modernity” brings with it the destruction—or, at least, the ruthless privatization—of religion, is clearly grounded in specific, often oversimplified, interpretations of Western historical developments since the eighteenth century. In this article, I use the case of the New Buddhist Fellowship (Shin Bukkyō Dōshikai 新仏教同志会) of the Meiji period (1868–1911) to query the category of the secular in the context of Japanese modernity. I argue that the New Buddhists, drawing on elements of classical and East Asian Buddhism as well as modern Western thought, promoted a resolutely social and this-worldly ...


Nature And Human Flourishing In The Laws Of Manu And The Daodejing, Qijing Zheng Jan 2017

Nature And Human Flourishing In The Laws Of Manu And The Daodejing, Qijing Zheng

Honors Theses

By comparing the interpretation of dharma in the ancient Indian Laws of Manu (Manusmṛti) with the concepts of dao in the Chinese classic, Daodejing, this thesis discusses that, despite the plausible perception that the former represents despotic, hierarchical governance while the latter promotes freedom (and even anarchy), the two texts in fact share a similar envision of human flourishing through the following of one's nature, as well as a foundational belief that both laws and political ideals emerge from nature.


Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields Jun 2016

Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The late Meiji period (1868-1912) witnessed the birth of various forms of “progressive” and “radical” Buddhism both within and beyond traditional Japanese Buddhist institutions. This paper examines several historical precedents for “Buddhist revolution” in East Asian—and particularly Japanese—peasant rebellions of the early modern period. I argue that these rebellions, or at least the received narratives of such, provided significant “root paradigms” for the thought and practice of early Buddhist socialists and radical Buddhists of early twentieth century Japan. Even if these narratives ended in “failure”—as, indeed, they often did—they can be understood as examples of what ...


Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields Apr 2016

Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

There is no one, single answer to the question: What is or are ‘Buddhist politics’? Rather than seek general historical trends or broad tendencies, in this chapter I explore the meaning and implications of the modern, Western conception of ‘politics’ as understood in relation to key features of Buddhist doctrine. In particular, I pose the question of whether we might fruitfully conceive at least certain interpretations of Buddhism—or perhaps, of Dharma—as politics, rather than ‘religion’ or ‘philosophy.’ I argue that twentieth century progressive Buddhists Seno’o Girō (1889–1961) and B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956) were not so ...


Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields Jul 2014

Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

No abstract provided.


Zen And The Art Of Treason: Radical Buddhism In Meiji Era (1868–1912) Japan, James Shields Mar 2014

Zen And The Art Of Treason: Radical Buddhism In Meiji Era (1868–1912) Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

In the early decades of the twentieth century, as Japanese society became engulfed in war and increasing nationalism, the majority of Buddhist leaders and institutions capitulated to the status quo. At the same time, there was a stream of ‘resistance’ among a few Buddhist figures, both priests and laity. These instances of progressive and ‘radical Buddhism’ had roots in late Edo-period peasant revolts, the lingering discourse of early Meiji period liberalism, trends within Buddhist reform and modernisation and the emergence in the first decade of the twentieth century of radical political thought, including various forms of socialism and anarchism. This ...


Awakening Between Science, Art & Ethics: Variations On Japanese Buddhist Modernism, 1890–1945, James Shields Jan 2012

Awakening Between Science, Art & Ethics: Variations On Japanese Buddhist Modernism, 1890–1945, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

The half-century between the publication of the Imperial Rescript on Education (kyōiku chokugo 教育勅語, 1890) and the bombing of Pearl Harbor (1941) was one of tremendous institutional and intellectual tumult in the world of Japanese Buddhism. Buddhist sects and scholars were not immune to the changing political and cultural winds. While it is true that by the late 1930s, the majority of Buddhist leaders and institutions had capitulated to the status quo, preaching, in the words of Joseph Kitagawa “the virtues of peace, harmony, and loyalty to the throne,” the previous decades show anything but a continuous progression towards Buddhist ...


Awakening Between Science, Art & Ethics: Variations On Japanese Buddhist Modernism, 1890–1945, James Shields Jan 2012

Awakening Between Science, Art & Ethics: Variations On Japanese Buddhist Modernism, 1890–1945, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

The half-century between the publication of the Imperial Rescript on Education (kyōiku chokugo 教育勅語, 1890) and the bombing of Pearl Harbor (1941) was one of tremendous institutional and intellectual tumult in the world of Japanese Buddhism. Buddhist sects and scholars were not immune to the changing political and cultural winds. While it is true that by the late 1930s, the majority of Buddhist leaders and institutions had capitulated to the status quo, preaching, in the words of Joseph Kitagawa “the virtues of peace, harmony, and loyalty to the throne,” the previous decades show anything but a continuous progression towards Buddhist ...


The Lotus Sutra, James Shields Jan 2011

The Lotus Sutra, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

No abstract provided.