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Philosophy Commons

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2016

Series

Ethics in Religion

Religion and politics

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields Jun 2016

Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The late Meiji period (1868-1912) witnessed the birth of various forms of “progressive” and “radical” Buddhism both within and beyond traditional Japanese Buddhist institutions. This paper examines several historical precedents for “Buddhist revolution” in East Asian—and particularly Japanese—peasant rebellions of the early modern period. I argue that these rebellions, or at least the received narratives of such, provided significant “root paradigms” for the thought and practice of early Buddhist socialists and radical Buddhists of early twentieth century Japan. Even if these narratives ended in “failure”—as, indeed, they often did—they can be understood as examples of what ...