11. Multiple Divinities in Shin Buddhist Temples

Exploring Shinto - Michael Pye

Markus Ruesch [+-]
Ryukoku University
Markus Ruesch is currently a JSPS International Research Fellow at Ryukoku University. He studied Japanese Studies and Philosophy and holds a doctorate in Japanese Studies from Freie Universität Berlin (2018). Ruesch has published on Shin Buddhism and Buddhist Literature. In his monograph (Argumente des Heiligen, 2019) he writes on hagiographies with a focus on Shinran.

Description

In this paper, the author discusses the connection between Shintō and Shin Buddhism by examining the development of the Shin Buddhist head temple Kinshokuji. Through an analysis of different sources (tales and precinct-layouts), the author seeks to reconsider two views on Buddhism. First, he shows that while the sectarian boundaries of a temple are significant for understanding its structure, the individual local conditions (history or customs) are to no small extent crucial factors in the formation of a temple’s identity. Kinshokuji's local conditions led to the appearance of a Shintō shrine within the precincts. The author proposes an approach that can elucidate this unique example of a Shin Buddhist head temple. He shows, secondly, that the contacts between Buddhism and Shintō were not only based on a unidirectional Buddhist interest. On the other hand, it enabled Shintō itself to benefit from a many Buddhist strengths.

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Citation

Ruesch, Markus. 11. Multiple Divinities in Shin Buddhist Temples. Exploring Shinto. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jul 2020. ISBN 9781781799604. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39491. Date accessed: 16 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39491. Jul 2020

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