Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School, and the Questions of Nationalism

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To many scholars in the world of religious studies, Zen is a world apart from the world of politics, and the philosophy of the Kyoto school is a politically neutral blend of intellectual traditions East and West, Buddhist and Christian. This volume challenges those assumptions by focusing on the question of nationalism in the work of Japanese Buddhist thinkers during and after the Pacific War. Fifteen Japanese and Western scholars offer a variety of critical perspectives concerning the political responsibility of intellectuals and the concrete historical consequences of working within a religious or philosophical tradition. The first group of essays debates the role of Zen Buddhism in wartime Japan. A second group of essays examines the political thought and activities of Nishida Kitaro, the doyen of the Kyoto school. A third group of essays questions the complicity of other philosophers of the Kyoto school in the wartime spirit of nationalism and analyzes the ideas of modernity and the modern nation-state then current in Japan. This carefully documented volume offers a wealth of information and reflection for those interested in prewar and wartime history, Zen, Japanese philosophy, and the problem of nationalism today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824817466
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Series: Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction
Abbreviations and Conventions
Zen Buddhist Attitudes to War 3
Ethical Pitfalls in Imperial Zen and Nishida Philosophy: Ichikawa Hakugen's Critique 16
Whose Zen? Zen Nationalism Revisited 40
D. T. Suzuki on Society and the State 52
Nishida, Nationalism, and the War in Question 77
Nishida and Totalitarianism: A Philosopher's Resistance 107
The Return of the Past: Tradition and the Political Microcosm in the Later Nishida 132
The Problem of Modernity in the Philosophy of Nishida 151
Nationalism as Dialectics: Ethnicity, Moralism, and the State in Early Twentieth-Century Japan 174
The Symposium on "Overcoming Modernity" 197
Kyoto Philosophy - Intrinsically Nationalistic? 233
Tanabe's Logic of the Specific and the Spirit of Nationalism 255
The Chuokoron Discussions, Their Background and Meaning 289
Nishitani Keiji and the Question of Nationalism 316
Questioning Nationalism Now and Then: A Critical Approach to Zen and the Kyoto School 333
Cumulative Index 365
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