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University of British Columbia to Host Virtual Symposium: “The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173–1263)”

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From buddhism.arts.ubc.ca

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at the University of British Columbia will host an online symposium titled: “The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173-1263): A Normative or an Outlier Position in Mahayana Buddhism?” on 11 December.

Held in cooperation with the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies, the virtual event marks the second part of  a two-part series on the theme “Other Power in Buddhism.”

In an announcement for the online event the RHNHFF Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society stated:

In this second panel in the series on “Other Power in Buddhism,” we shall examine what many agree to be its most radical form, the one espoused by Shinran, the founder of Shin or Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Our last year’s panel revealed that the Other Power dimension was quite prevalent in various traditions – not limited to Pure Land Buddhism – as a vital doctrine in Mahayana Buddhism in India, China, Korea, and Japan.

Nevertheless, Shinran’s position has drawn critical assessment in the West. For example, a German scholar of Buddhism, Heinz Bechert, remarked:

“Amida Buddhism has won a broad following throughout all of East Asia, primarily as a folk religion. … [Amidism] takes the ideas of the Buddha and, in a way, twists them into their opposite. The most radical spokesman for this approach is Shinran-Shōnin … .”[1] (italics added)

We believe there is much in this portrayal that needs to be examined and clarified in order to properly understand the full extent of Shinran’s position. For this, the panelists will examine some elements of the historical background that led to Shinran’s position as well as its manifestations in premodern and modern times.

(RHNHFF Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society)

The symposium will feature five esteemed panelists:

Kenneth Tanaka, professor emeritus at Musashino University, Tokyo, who will give an introduction on the panel topic: “The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173-1263).”

David Matsumoto of the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, who will speak on “A Nonbinary Perspective on Self-power and Other Power: Implications of Shinran’s teaching that ‘Other Power means to be free of any form of calculation.’”

Mark Blum, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who will speak on “Shinran’s Other-Power in Context.”

Melissa Curley, associate professor at Ohio State University, who will discuss “Other Power and Vital Force in Modern Readings of Shinran.”

Jessica Main, associate professor at the University of British Columbia, who will speak on “Knowing What is Bad and How to Be Good?: Visual Metaphors in Shinran’s Other Power.”

Shinran. from wikipedia.org

“The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173-1263): A Normative or an Outlier Position in Mahayana Buddhism?” will be held on 11 December, 5pm–8pm PST:

Auckland: 2pm, Sunday 12 December
Canberra: 12pm, Sunday 12 December
Seoul, Tokyo: 10am, Sunday 12 December
Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei: 9am, Sunday 12 December
Bangkok, Jakarta: 8am, Sunday 12 December
New Delhi: 6:30am, Sunday 12 December
Moscow: 4am, Sunday 12 December
Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm: 2am, Sunday 12 December
London: 1am, Sunday 12 December
Montréal, New York: 8pm, Saturday 11 December
Los Angeles, Vancouver: 5pm, Saturday 11 December

For full details of the program of events, click here.

To register for this event, click here.

See more

Virtual Symposium: The Radical Other Power of Shinran (1173-1263) (The University of British Columbia)
Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society
Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation
The University of British Columbia
International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies

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