The medieval period of Japanese religious history is commonly kwn as one in which there was a radical transformation of the religious culture. This book suggests an alternate approach to understanding the dynamics of that transformation. One main topic of analysis focuses on what Buddhism - its practices and doctrines, its traditions and institutions - meant for medieval Japanese peoples themselves. This is achieved by using the tions of discourse and ideology and juxtaposing various topics on shared linguistic practices and discursive worlds of medieval Japanese Buddhism. Collating contributions from outstanding scholars in the field of Buddhist Studies, the editors have created an important work that builds on preliminary work on rethinking the importance and meaning of Kamakura Buddhism published recently in English, and adds greatly to the debate.
Richard K. Payne is Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He was convener of the doctoral program in the Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions from 1996 to 2002. His most recent publications include Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitabha, with Kenneth Tanaka, and Tantric Buddhism in East Asia. Taigen Dan Leighton is currently Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California. He received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.