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Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho: The Collection of Passages Expounding the True Teaching, Living, Faith, and Realizing of the Pure Land

Overview


This annotated translation by Daisetz Suzuki (1870-1966) comprises the first four of six chapters of the Kyogyoshinsho, the definitive doctrinal work of Shinran (1173-1262). Shinran is best known for founding the Jodo Shin sect of Pure Land Buddhism, now the largest religious organization in Japan.

Writing in Classical Chinese, Shinran began this, his magnum opus, while in exile and spent the better part of thirty years after his return to Kyoto revising the text. Although ...

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Overview


This annotated translation by Daisetz Suzuki (1870-1966) comprises the first four of six chapters of the Kyogyoshinsho, the definitive doctrinal work of Shinran (1173-1262). Shinran is best known for founding the Jodo Shin sect of Pure Land Buddhism, now the largest religious organization in Japan.

Writing in Classical Chinese, Shinran began this, his magnum opus, while in exile and spent the better part of thirty years after his return to Kyoto revising the text. Although unfinished, Suzuki's translation conveys the text's core religious message, showing how Shinran offered a new understanding of faith as the conclusion of studying teachings and engaging in praxis, rather than the more traditional view of faith in Buddhism as relevant to one just beginning their pursuit of Buddhist truth.

Although Suzuki is best known for his scholarship on Zen Buddhism, he took a lifelong interest in Pure Land Buddhism. Suzuki's own religious perspective is evident in his translation of gyo as "True Living" rather than the expected "Practice," and of sho as "True Realizing of the Pure Land" rather than the expected "Enlightenment" or "Confirmation." This book contains the second edition of Suzuki's translation. It includes a number of corrections to the original 1973 edition, long out of print. It also contains for the first time Suzuki's own introduction, previously thought to be unfinished, which has been carefully and appropriately re-edited to reflect the assumed complete form.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In D.T. Suzuki's hands, the stereotypical perception, particularly in the West, of Pure Land Buddhism takes on a different look. Amida Buddha is no longer equivalent to 'God,' and Pure Land is not merely a paradise. Suzuki boldly opts for non-traditional translations of key concepts so that 'vow' is rendered 'prayer' and 'practice' becomes 'living.' Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho is thus illuminated as one of the great Mahayana Buddhist works."
---Kenneth Tanaka, Professor, Musashino University, Tokyo and President, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies

"D. T. Suzuki, who is best known as a Zen master, is also sympathetic towards Shin Buddhism. Suzuki's last work was the English translation of the Kyogyoshinsho, the profound philosophical work by Shinran, Shin Buddhism's founder. It is filled with the essence of his thinking. This new edition constitutes the definitive version of this amazing encounter across time between the two great masters of Japanese Buddhism, Shinran and Suzuki."
---Fumihiko SUEKI, Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies

"Suzuki's translation of Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho is a window not just into Shinran's innovative understanding of Buddhist tradition but also into Suzuki's innovative understanding of Shinran. Departing from conventional interpretations, Suzuki infuses Shinran with jolting new readings: Amida Buddha's Original Vow (hongan) becomes "Original Prayer" and religious practice (gyo) becomes "living." Westerners have sometimes mistaken Suzuki's translation as a standard, orthodox presentation of Shinran. It is not. It is driven instead by Suzuki's determination to make Buddhism a compelling and captivating religion in the modern world."
---James C. Dobbins, Fairchild Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies, Oberlin College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199863105
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,019,464
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

D. T. Suzuki played a major role in the popularization of Zen Buddhism outside of Asia through his writings in English. He is recognized as one of the most respected public intellectuals in the field of religion within Japan in the twentieth century.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Editorial Foreword by Sengaku Mayeda, Supervisor
Chronology

Introduction to the D.T. Suzuki Translation of Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho by Mark L. Blum, Editor
Translator's Introduction
The Forty-Eight Prayers
''Bodhi-tree''
The Prayers Summarized (Jusei-ge)
Vasubandhu's Gatha on a Birth [in the Pure Land] (Gansho-ge)
The Kyogyoshinsho by D.T. Suzuki
Preface
[I] The True Teaching
[II] The True Living
[III] The True Faith
Preface
Part One
Part Two
[IV] The True Realizing

Afterword by Hiroyuki Honda, Editor
Notes & Sources of Quotations
Glossary
Selected Bibliography on Shin Buddhism in Western Languages
Index

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