A Chronology of Buddhism  (623 B.C.E.-1968)


Streams of Tradition: Buddhism, East to West (pdf file)

“Streams of Tradition” is a summary account of the development of Buddhism from India through its arising in East Asia and Tibet. It provides some background for the appearance of Shin Buddhism in Japan and hopefully will be helpful to those seeking an orientation to Buddhism and its teachings.

Also of interest:

Introduction: Religion in China (pdf file)
Introduction: Religion in Japan (pdf file)

Scanned chapters offer a background for Buddhism in East Asia, along with information on the meaning and significance of the religious faiths of China and Japan. SOURCE: “Religion and Man; India and Far Eastern Religious Traditions,” by Alfred Bloom (NY: Harper & Row, 1971) pp. 139-282.

Engaged Shin Buddhism (pdf file) – A series of essays about Engaged Shin Buddism

Engaged Shin Buddhism: Quotations on Buddhist Social awareness (pdf file) – This gathering of quotations from various sources in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism concerning Buddhist Social Awareness is not exhaustive but hopefully will give some suggestion of the Buddhist perspective.

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture course
Explores Shin Buddhism – also known as Jodo Shinshu – historically, and in modern context.

Essays …




Kiyozawa in Concord: A Historian Looks Again at Shin Buddhism in America (pdf file)This article appeared in The Eastern Buddhist (New Series, Volume 41-No. 1-2010 pp. 101-150). We are grateful to the Eastern Buddhist Society and the author for permission to post the article which will be very helpful in viewing issues concerning Shin Buddhism in the West.

Galen Amstutz, Ph.D., grew up in an Asian-American neighborhood in Sacramento, California. He became interested in Buddhism after teaching English in Japan in the 1970s, studied at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California, and qualified as a minister in the Nishi Honganji organization. Later, having continued his academic study with a Ph.D. in Asian Religions from Princeton, he worked for Florida State University, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard, and (in 2004-09) at Ryukoku University in Japan. He is currently active as an independent scholar in Boston while teaching online for the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. He is particularly interested in the communication (or cross-cultural hermeneutical) problem posed by Shin Buddhism in the English-speaking world and has published a book on the issue (“Interpreting Amida: History and Orientalism in the Study of Pure Land Buddhism,” SUNY 1997). He has published various articles on facets of Pure Land Buddhism. A new piece concerning a theory of what occurred historically in Shin, as well as references to some of his previous writing, will be forthcoming in the IBS journal Pacific World under the title “World Macrohistory and Shinran’s Literacy.”