The Teaching and Teachings of Temple Buddhism in Contemporary Japan

Hardback: $75.00
ISBN-13: 9780824897574
Published: October 2024
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Additional Information

248 pages
  • About the Book
  • How have Buddhist teachings come to be in modern and contemporary Japan and how are they taught? This pioneering work seeks to answer these questions by highlighting the public teachings of Temple Buddhism institutions, in particular Temple Buddhism kindergartens and Buddhist secondary schools and colleges. The community outreach provided by these Buddhist facilities is far greater than any other with the possible exception of funerals yet until now it has received little attention from scholars of Japanese religion.

    After determining what is taught in Buddhist education and how, Stephen Covell introduces readers to a select group of monks who undergo some of the most grueling practices in Japanese Temple Buddhism to determine if the public-facing teachings of Buddhist education are unique or similar to those of elite Buddhist practitioners. The teachings and sites of teaching examined here include but are not limited to classical doctrinal studies and temples focused on the education of Buddhist clergy. Covell uncovers the arguments made by priests involved in morals education, the dharma talks of famous ascetics, and the ways in which laws and legal codes have changed Buddhist education. He looks at what is taught on the ground, online, and in popular texts to discuss the current teachings embraced as Buddhism within the institutions of Temple Buddhism. Among his numerous findings is such teachings and worldview are remarkably similar to those of New Religions and Buddhist lay movements as outlined by Japan religion scholars and government bodies in charge of education.

    The Teaching and Teachings of Temple Buddhism in Contemporary Japan will be welcomed by students and scholars in Japanese religious studies and early childhood and higher education as well as those interested in current Buddhist practice and teachings in general.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Stephen G. Covell, Author

      Stephen G. Covell is chair of the Department of Comparative Religion and Mary Meader Professor of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University.