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Ritualized WritingBuddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan$
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Bryan D. Lowe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824859404

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824859404.001.0001

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Writing Societies

Writing Societies

Chapter:
(p.83) 3 Writing Societies
Source:
Ritualized Writing
Author(s):

Bryan D. Lowe

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824859404.003.0004

Chapter three focuses on cases of collective patronage, in which groups of individuals pooled their resources to sponsor sutra transcription, often identifying themselves as wholesome friends. It shows how fellowship groups were drawn together for a variety of motivations ranging from political to pious, as many individuals treated participation in these groups as an opportunity to engage in Buddhist practice. While many scholars treat fellowships as an example of popular or folk Buddhism (minshū Bukkyō), this chapter shows how many of these groups benefited from state institutions. At the same time, it argues that many organizations transcended officially sanctioned social structures and introduced new notions of community, such as wholesome friends who joined together in practice and worship. It focuses on Japan but also makes comparison with similar groups in China.

Keywords:   Buddhism and society, state Buddhism, folk Buddhism, friendship, kalyāṇa-mitra, zenchishiki, patronage

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