Chapter 4

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 4 – The Mahayana Background:  The Logic of Compassion

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Multiple Choice Questions
[mcq  id=”1547″ ] Thought Questions

1. This chapter and the previous one have taken up the background of Mahayana Buddhism and its two basic perspectives. In what ways can a combination of the two — wisdom and compassion — be applied to the problems in religion and society that we face today?

2. We have seen how easily a religion such as Buddhism can become elitist. What are the forces that cause this tendency? Is elitism, in your opinion, present in Buddhism today? What can be done to make Buddhism available to all on a universal scale?

3. In your own words try to explain the concept of upaya, or hoben, commonly called Convenient Means. What is upaya and why is it such an important part of Mahayana Buddhist doctrine?

4. What do you think Honen was implying when he said that people who understand all the teachings of Shaka should behave like simple-minded folks?