Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism (Google eBook)

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University of Hawaii Press, 2008 - History - 382 pages
1 Review
For more than a thousand years, Buddhism has dominated Japanese death rituals and concepts of the afterlife. The nine essays in this volume, ranging chronologically from the tenth century to the present, bring to light both continuity and change in death practices over time. They also explore the interrelated issues of how Buddhist death rites have addressed individual concerns about the afterlife while also filling social and institutional needs and how Buddhist death-related practices have assimilated and refigured elements from other traditions, bringing together disparate, even conflicting, ideas about the dead, their postmortem fate, and what constitutes normative Buddhist practice. The idea that death, ritually managed, can mediate an escape from deluded rebirth is treated in the first two essays, followed by explorations of Buddhist death rites that worked to encourage the maintenance of emotional bonds with the deceased and, in so doing, helped structure the social world of the living. The rise of standardized funerals in Japan's early modern period forms the subject of a chapter that shows how the Sōtō Zen sect established itself in rural communities by incorporating local religious culture into its death rites. The final three chapters deal with contemporary funerary and mortuary practices and the controversies surrounding them.
  

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Review: Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism

User Review  - Goodreads

Jacqueline Stone is incredible, and a personal idol of mine. She edits this work, and only has one chapter in the book...unfortunately. Even still, this such a great and rather broad survey of everything from posthumous spiritual concerns to deathbed ritual in Japanese Buddhism. Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
27
III
61
IV
102
V
137
VI
175
VII
207
VIII
247
IX
293
X
325
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About the author (2008)

Jacqueline I. Stone is professor of Japanese religions in the Religion Department of Princeton University. Mariko Namba Walter is a research associate at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University.

Mariko Namba Walter is a visiting professor at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, and teaches on shamanism and Asian religions.

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