Chapter 2

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 2 – The Contemporary Age

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Thought Questions

1. What are some of the signs of mappo? Do you think these signs are peculiar to the contemporary age? If so, why?

2. In what ways are modern people trying to deal with the problems you mentioned above? Are they turning to religion or are they using other means of coping?

3. What signs of mappo can you find in your own life? For example, do you feel alienated from your true self? A lack of inner worth? Alone even in a crowd?

4. What does the author, Alfred Bloom, say about the problem of religion today?

5. How can religion help us retain our humanity during such turbulent times?

6. What seems to be the driving force behind religious movements today? What is it that attracts people to such movements?

7. What do you think are the goals of religion?

8. The author says that, for many, religion is frequently a matter of taste rather than truth. What does he mean by this?