Discipline, Compassion, and Enlightenment at a Japanese Zen Temple
An intimate and insightful look into the life of a head Soto Zen temple in 21st century Japan
Sōjiji is one of the two head temples of Sōtō Zen, the largest sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple is steeped in centuries of culture and tradition, but it is very much rooted in the present and future, performing functions and catering to needs that reflect the changing demographic, social, and religious landscapes of contemporary Japan.
Based on more than fifteen years of fieldwork, interviews, and archival research, Sōjiji: Discipline, Compassion, and Enlightenment at a Japanese Zen Temple immerses the reader in the lives and experiences of the different groups that comprise Sōjiji's contemporary religious community. Through clear and accessible prose, ethnographically-grounded analysis, and emotionally compelling stories, the reader will explore the rich pastiche of daily life and ritual activity at a major Japanese Zen temple in institutional, historical, and social context through the lived practices of its community of clergy, practitioners, parishioners, and visitors.
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