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The Origins and Development of Pure Land BuddhismA Study and Translation of Gyonen's Jodo Homon Genrusho$
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Mark L. Blum

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195125245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019512524X.001.0001

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Gyōnen as Buddhist Historian

Gyōnen as Buddhist Historian

Scholarship as Praxis

(p.69) 4 Gyōnen as Buddhist Historian
The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism

Mark L. Blum (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses Gyōnen's achievement as a historian. For many today, it is Gyōnen the religious historian who is best known, but it remains to be seen precisely what type of historian he was, what was the nature of his historical consciousness, and what his purposes were in the writing of history. After an introduction, the chapter has nine sections. These discuss: Gyōnen's historical model – the transmission of Buddhism from India to China to Japan; his reassertion of a traditional view of the precepts; the concept of mappō and the perception of decline; the sangoku construct – Buddhism defined as Indian, Chinese, and Japanese; Kakuken's Sangoku Dentōki as prototype for Gyōnen's theoretical framework; Gyōnen in relation to Kakuken (a comparison); sectarian ambiguity and institutional legitimation (the concept of shū); the tracing of the Japanese origins of Buddhism from China back to the Nara period; and Conclusion.

Keywords:   Buddhism, Buddhist history, China, Gyōnen, India, Japan, Kakuken, mappō, Nara period, Sangoku, sectarianism, shū

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