Where the Action Is: Sites of Contemporary Sōtō Buddhism

Mark Rowe
2004 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies  
This article considers reactions at various levels of the Soto sect to the prob lems of funerary Buddhism. There is a widening gap, not only between the necessities of mortuary practice at local temples (both rural and urban) and the doctrine of no-self ostensibly embodied in the foundational texts of Dogen and Keizan, but also within the very organizational structures of the Soto sect itself. From its official publications and regional conferences to innovative strategies being developed at
more » ... ividual temples, I argue that, far from being a unified body, Soto Buddhism speaks with an array of competing and often contradictory voices. The diversity of Soto responses to the "mortuary problem" reveals intriguing disconnects between the research arm of the sect, those responsible for training priests, and the daily realities of local temples. k e y w o r d s : Soto Zen -genba -mortuary rites -ordination ceremony -sosai mondai Mark Rowe is currently finishing his PhD in the Religion Department at Princeton University. His dissertation explores the impact of changing Japanese burial practices on contemporary Japanese Bud dhism.
doi:10.18874/jjrs.31.2.2004.357-388 fatcat:qqmbawmfxnfztmjxl2kb5u4h2i