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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Scope And Limits Of Secular Buddhism: Watanabe Kaikyoku (1868–1912) And The Japanese New Buddhist 'Discovery Of Society', James Shields Mar 2017

The Scope And Limits Of Secular Buddhism: Watanabe Kaikyoku (1868–1912) And The Japanese New Buddhist 'Discovery Of Society', James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

Although New Buddhism is a term sometimes employed to refer to the broad sweep of reform and modernization movements in Japanese Buddhist thought and practice beginning in the 1870s, the term shin bukkyō refers more specifically to a broadly influential movement of some two dozen young scholars and lay Buddhists active in the last decade of the Meiji period (1868–1912). Founded in February 1899 as Bukkyō Seito Dōshikai (Buddhist Pure Believers Fellowship or Buddhist Puritan Association), the group changed its name to Shin Bukkyō Dōshikai (New Buddhist Fellowship) in 1903. Notto Thelle refers to the NBF as “the most ...


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 ...


Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields Apr 2016

Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

There is no one, single answer to the question: What is or are ‘Buddhist politics’? Rather than seek general historical trends or broad tendencies, in this chapter I explore the meaning and implications of the modern, Western conception of ‘politics’ as understood in relation to key features of Buddhist doctrine. In particular, I pose the question of whether we might fruitfully conceive at least certain interpretations of Buddhism—or perhaps, of Dharma—as politics, rather than ‘religion’ or ‘philosophy.’ I argue that twentieth century progressive Buddhists Seno’o Girō (1889–1961) and B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956) were not so ...


From Topos To Utopia: Critical Buddhism, Globalization, And Ideology Criticism, James Shields Nov 2014

From Topos To Utopia: Critical Buddhism, Globalization, And Ideology Criticism, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

No abstract provided.


Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields Jul 2014

Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

No abstract provided.