By Keiji Nishitani, Robert Edgar Carter

ISBN-10: 0791467856

ISBN-13: 9780791467855

Six lectures through eminent Buddhist philosopher Keiji Nishitani reflecting on Buddhism for the fashionable world.

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In other words, it is necessary to grasp historically the way of living-through that one lives historically. Therefore, that the historical world comes into sight for us is connected with the fact that the way of life of an individual itself turns out to be historical, and that one comes to realize that one is living a historical life oneself. I think these two things combine to give birth to historical consciousness. I am sure that Buddhism falls short of such historical consciousness, at least to some extent.

I think that this demand arises not so much from individual religious organizations or sects as from (to speak more generally beyond the distinction of these sects) the religious demand involved in a universal way of living inherent in human beings, no matter whether they are Occidental or Oriental. As mentioned above, the fact that human beings feel the need to pursue meanings through reading the Bible, the Tannishø, or Døgen’s writings should bring to the surface their basic way of living. We are here considering religious figures such as Shinran, Døgen, Jesus, or anyone else who concretely embodies a basic way of living.

And in this case, the standpoint of reformation consists in the determination to build societies that can be regarded as righteous. These two movements—that is, a historical way of thinking and the putting of it into practice—are combined into one. The “practice” can be said to be a manifestation of historical consciousness. In Marxism, too, these two aspects are made into one. But this is true not only of Marxism. “Revolution” has a broader sense: it is an attitude and a way of life that involves constant renovation, as is inherent not only in the revolution of societies, but also in all other realms.

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On Buddhism by Keiji Nishitani, Robert Edgar Carter


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