Critical Buddhism

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Critical Buddhism (Japanese 批判仏教) is a trend in Japanese Buddhist scholarship, associated primarily with the works of Hakamaya Noriaki (Japanese 袴谷憲昭) and Matsumoto Shirō (Japanese 松本史朗). Hakamaya states that "'Buddhism is criticism' or that 'only that which is critical is Buddhism.'"[1] He contrasts it with what he calls Topical Buddhism, in comparison to the concepts of critical philosophy and topical philosophy.[1] According to Lin Chen-kuo, Hakamaya's view is that "Critical Buddhism sees methodical, rational critique as belonging to the very foundations of Buddhism itself, while 'Topical Buddhism' emphasizes the priority of rhetoric over logical thinking, of ontology over epistemology."[2]

Critical Buddhism targeted specifically certain concepts prevalent in Japanese Mahayana Buddhism and rejected them as being non-buddhist. For example, Matsumoto Shirō and Hakamaya Noriaki reject the doctrine of Tathagatagarbha, which according to their view is at odds with the fundamental Buddhist doctrine of dependent origination.[3][4]

Critical Buddhism became known to Western scholarship due to a panel discussion held at the American Academy of Religion's 1993 meeting in Washington, DC with the title "Critical Buddhism: Issues and Responses to a New Methodological Movement", which led to an English collection of essays.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hakamaya, Noriaki (1997). Jamie Hubbard and Paul L. Swanson, ed. "Critical Philosophy versus Topical Philosophy". Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm over Critical Buddhism (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press): 56–80. ISBN 0-8248-1949-7. 
  2. ^ Lin, Chen-kuo (1997). Jamie Hubbard and Paul L. Swanson, ed. "Metaphysics, Suffering, and Liberation: The Debate between Two Buddhisms". Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm over Critical Buddhism (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press): 298–313. ISBN 0-8248-1949-7. 
  3. ^ Matsumoto, Shirō (1997). Jamie Hubbard and Paul L. Swanson, ed. "The Doctrine of "Tathgata-garbha" Is Not Buddhist". Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm over Critical Buddhism (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press): 165–173. ISBN 0-8248-1949-7. 
  4. ^ Hakamaya, Noriaki (1997). Jamie Hubbard, ed. "Critical Philosophy Versus Topical Philosophy". Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press). 
  5. ^ Hubbard, Jamie; Swanson, Paul L., eds. (1997). Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm over Critical Buddhism. ISBN 978-0-8248-1949-1. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stone, Jaquelin (1999). "Some Reflections on Critical Buddhism", Review: Jamie Hubbard and Paul L. Swanson, Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm over Critical Buddhism. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 26 (1-2), 159-188
  • Shields, James Mark (2011). Critical Buddhism - Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought. Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-1800-9.