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Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism$
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Jacqueline I. Stone and Mariko Namba Walter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832049

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832049.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism
Jacqueline I. Stone, Mariko Namba Walter
University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter offers an understanding of death and the afterlife in Japanese Buddhist thought and practice, and cites three themes: first, the continuity and change over time in Japanese Buddhist death-related practices and views of the afterlife; second, the dual role of Buddhist death rites in both addressing individual concerns about the afterlife, and at the same time working to construct, maintain, and legitimize social relations and the authority of religious institutions; and finally, Buddhist death rites as a locus of “contradictory logics,” bringing together unrelated, even opposing ideas about the dead, their postmortem fate, what the living should do for them, and what constitutes normative Buddhist practice.

Keywords:   Japanese Buddhism, death, afterlife, death-related practices, religious institutions, Buddhist death rites

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