Chapter 14

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 14 – Faith and Practice: Shinran’s Perspective

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Multiple Choice Questions
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Thought Questions

1. When a person stops seeking the truth, his understanding of religion often becomes fixed, stagnant, even somewhat arrogant. This is particularly the case if that person thinks he or she has attained salvation. In light of this, what can you say about the truly religious life? About the quest for truth?

2. Why is Shinran’s understanding of the vows given in the “Larger Pure Land Sutra” unique? What makes his interpretation so distinctive?

3. What influence did Tendai thought have on Shinran’s understanding of Amida Buddha and his Vows?

4. The author says that saints and sages are only a matter of the past for many people today. Do you agree? Why or why not?

5. In your own words, try to describe Shinran’s understanding and experience of the process of turning through the three vows (sangantennyu).

6. What significance does Shinran’s awareness of religious consciousness have for contemporary life?

7. Can you identify the characteristics of modern life suggested by the text in your own experience and observations? If so, how do you think Shinran’s teaching can alleviate or resolve those issues?