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Experimental BuddhismInnovation and Activism in Contemporary Japan$
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John K. Nelson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838331

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838331.001.0001

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Four Prototypes of Experimental Buddhism

Four Prototypes of Experimental Buddhism

(p.112) 4 Four Prototypes of Experimental Buddhism
Experimental Buddhism

John K. Nelson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter lays out four examples of innovation that illustrate some of the themes and characteristics suggested in the concept of experimental Buddhism. The first is the temple Ōtenin, which embodies a dynamic vision of a Buddhist temple as a hub for activities that promote “healing, learning, and enjoyment.” The next is the energetic and visionary priest of the Jingūji temple, Rev. Takahashi Takushi, who has compiled a track record of innovation and compassion in action. The third example illustrates a unique form of temple outreach in “Everyone’s temple” (Minna no otera), which puts into practice some of the fundamental principles of Buddhism by providing easy access to the dharma. The final example features Rev. Kiyoshi Fumihiko of the Zuikōji temple, who holds that a mutual and beneficial transformation occurs when, through direct experience, one’s religious practice engages the world and all its challenges.

Keywords:   Ōtenin, Jingūji, Takahashi Takushi, Everyone’s temple, Kiyoshi Fumihiko, Zuikōji

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