The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classicby Gene Reeves
The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the world's great religious scriptures and most influential texts. It's a seminal work in the development of Buddhism throughout East Asia and, by extension, in the development of Mahayana Buddhism throughout the world. Taking place in a vast and fantastical cosmic setting, the Lotus Sutra places emphasis on skillfully doing whatever is needed to serve and compassionately care for others, on breaking down distinctions between the fully enlightened buddha and the bodhisattva who vows to postpone salvation until all beings may share it, and especially on each and every being's innate capacity to become a buddha.
Gene Reeves's new translation appeals to readers with little or no familiarity with technical Buddhist vocabulary, as well as long-time practitioners and students. In addition, this remarkable volume includes the full "threefold" text of this classic.
- Wisdom Publications MA
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Meet the Author
Gene Reeves is a Buddhist scholar and teacher, process philosopher, and theologian who has lived in Tokyo for over 23 years studying, teaching, and practicing the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. He is a founder of the International Buddhist Congregation with headquarters in Tokyo, a part of the much larger Rissho Kosei-kai lay Buddhist organization. He is the translator from Chinese into English of The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. His most recently published book is The Stories of the Lotus Sutra. A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra, which he edited, was published in 2002. Reeves is currently working on ""A Buddhist Natural Theology"" which attempts to relate the process philosophy of A.N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne with the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. Reeves is a regular contributor to the magazine Dharma World, and a frequent speaker on the Lotus Sutra and Chinese Buddhism in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States. He retired in 2012 as distinguished professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing and continues to do field research on contemporary Chinese Buddhism in China and serve as an International Advisor at Rissho Kosei-kai in Japan. He has taught at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, the University of Peking in China, and at the University of Chicago and Meadville Lombard Theological School, Wilberforce University, and Tufts University in the United States. Born and raised in a small factory town in New Hampshire, Reeves graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in psychology, from Boston University with a degree in theology, and from Emory University with a PhD in philosophy. In addition to his passion for Buddhism, Reeves has been active for over 50 years in civil rights causes, working for a time with Martin Luther King, Jr. and for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Reeves is married to Yayoi Reeves and has homes in Tokyo and Chicago. He has two adult daughters who live and work in the United States.
Michio Shinozaki is a long-time member of Rissho-Kosei Kai, a popular Japanese lay Buddhist organization, and president of the Rissho Kosei-kai Gakurin Seminary in Tokyo. Shinozaki has authored numerous articles on Japanese Buddhist practice for English speaking members of the organization.
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Having practice Buddhism in the Lotus Sutra tradition for more than 45 years, I have found this translation by Dr. Reeves to be the most accessible and easier to understand o,f the many, many translation that I have purchased and studied. His translation is also one of the most recitable versions I've come across, and use it daily in my morning and evening recitation offerings. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I started to read this book and got to the 3rd chapter and then had to put it down. I did this because the translator/ author has americanized this sutra too much for my liking. In other words, instead of using the original language he's substituted words with very Christian meanings like using the word Purgatory ... I'm sorry, but there is no such meaning as this in the original sutra and this was taking it a little too far for my liking. I think the Lotus Sutra is a beautiful book and a must read, but I would suggest reading the book translated by Leon Harvitz or even Burton Watson. To the authors credit he did mention that he had done this type of change to the Sutura, however, unless you can read the 'notes from the author' before you bought this book, you would have no idea that he has done this.