Chapter 12

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 13 – The Metaphysical Structure of Shin Buddhism

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Multiple Choice Questions
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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?