Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 13 – The Metaphysical Structure of Shin Buddhism

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Multiple Choice Questions

  • 1. It is clear from historical materials that Shinran was not merely a religious pragmatist. This is to say that he:
  • 2. Which of the following refers to the “Jinenhonisho” mentioned in this chapter? It is a:
  • 3. The meaning of the word jinen is:
  • 4. The idea of Nature as the basis of man’s life in Shinran’s thought is supported in modern thought by the:
  • 5. To which of the following did Shinran relate the spontaneous process of Nature in order to establish the certainty of faith?
  • 6. Through the contemplation of Nature itself, Shinran was able to transcend the dichotomy of:
  • 7. Shinran’s theory of deliverance implies that salvation can only be achieved on the basis of:
  • 8. The word hakarai generally refers to human:
Thought Questions

1. In this chapter we have examined Shinran’s philosophical insight and perspective. The author points out that in our day of social and cultural upheaval, unless a person develops a philosophical perspective on existence, one will only be buffeted by the forces surging in society. Like Shinran, people today need a philosophical perspective, some view of reality, that gives them an understanding of the world in which they live.

Examine your own life. What is your view of reality? How did you come to have this particular world view? How much of a role did religion play in helping shape this view? Why do or don’t you think it is helpful to have a philosophical perspective?

2. What is your understanding of the concept of Jinenhoni?Perhaps you could examine the relationship between jinen (Nature) and honi (truth).

3. According to the author, the dichotomy of self-power and other-power is a delusion. Shinran, he says, was able to transcend this dichotomy. Could you explain this?

4. In “Jinenhonisho,” Shinran demonstrates the link between faith and trust. What is your understanding of this important relationship?

5. Today, there are many people who turn to religion in the hope of attaining happiness or peace of mind. Religion, however, becomes a vain, self-seeking activity unless it is a search for truth, first and foremost. Do you agree? Disagree?

6. How do you think Shinran’s view of reality could enable a person to experience joy and peace within tragedy and suffering?