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Intellectual History Commons

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2017

Faculty Journal Articles

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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 ...