Experimental Buddhism: Innovation and Activism in Contemporary Japan

Experimental Buddhism

Experimental Buddhism highlights the complex and often wrenching interactions between long-established religious traditions and rapid social, cultural, and economic change. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, it is one of the first studies to give readers a sense of what is happening on the front lines as progressive Buddhist priests try to reboot their roles and traditions to gain greater significance in Japanese society. The book profiles innovative as well as controversial responses to the challenges facing Buddhist priests.

The work’s central theme of experimental Buddhism provides a fresh perspective to understand how priests and other individuals employ Buddhist traditions in selective and pragmatic ways, frequently risking criticism from their peers, constituents, and high-ranking religious authorities. Using these inventive approaches during a time of crisis and transition for Japanese temple Buddhism, priests and practitioners from all denominations seek solutions that not only can transform their religious traditions but also influence society and their fellow citizens in positive ways.

November 2013, 11 illustrations
$60.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3833-1, Cloth
$32.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3898-0, Paper
Topics in Contemporary Buddhism