The Nembutsu of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism

  • Kristin Johnston Largen
Chapter
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)

Abstract

The central practice of Shin Buddhism is recitation of the name of Amida Buddha, the nembutsu (or nianfo). The nembutsu is a tangible experience of the Buddha himself, and guarantees birth in Amida’s Pure Land. After introducing Shin Buddhism and Shinran, this chapter describes the nembutsu, and then moves into a discussion of the specific “enviable” aspects of this practice from a Christian perspective, which are as follows: the clarity of focus on one single practice; the recognition of the fallibility of human nature; Shinran’s own humility and his identification with the weak; and the emphasis on a transformed life in the present. These make clear why the nembutsu is both compelling and rewarding, not only for “insiders,” but for “outsiders” as well.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Johnston Largen
    • 1
  1. 1.United Lutheran SeminaryGettysburgUSA

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