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The son of a Buddhist priest, he studied philosophy at Kyoto University where his mentor Keiji Nishitani oriented his studies toward medieval mystics. He then went to Germany where he received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Marburg with a thesis on the Western Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart. He returned to Kyoto University to teach philosophy of religion. Later he specialized in the thought of Kitaro Nishida. Being a Zen practitioner, Ueda -like Nishida- studied Zen Buddhism under the philosophical categories of Western philosophy. He is considered a third generation member of Kyoto School.
- Die Gottesgeburt in der Seele und der Durchbruch zur Gottheit. Die mystische Anthropologie Meister Eckharts und ihre Konfrontation mit der Mystik des Zen-Buddhismus. Mohn, Güterloh 1965
- Zen y filosofia, Barcelona: Herder, 2004.
- J. C. Maraldo: Zen, Language and the Other. The Philosophy of Ueda Shizuteru. In: The Ten Directions. Edited by Zen Center of Los Angeles and The Kuroda Institut. 10:2 (1989)
- Fritz Buri (1997). The Buddha-Christ as the Lord of the true self: the religious philosophy of the Kyoto school and Christianity. Mercer University Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-86554-536-6.
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