Reformist Buddhist Groups in the Late Meiji Era and Their Relationship to Christianity

  • Monika Schrimpf University of Tübingen, Germany
Keywords: christianity, New Buddhism, Meiji era, Buddhist Puritans

Abstract

This paper explores the attitude towards Christianity among the so-called “New Buddhists” in the late Meiji era, i.e. members and sympathizers of the reformist Buddhist groups Keiikai and Bukkyō seito dōshikai. Whereas an anti-Christian attitude prevailed among Buddhist intellectuals up to the 1880s and 1890s, the New Buddhists advocated religious tolerance and the unbiased study of religions. By analysing the writings of Furukawa Rōsen and prominent members of the Bukkyō seito dōshikai, particularly Sakaino Kōyō and Katō Genchi, this paper reconstructs how these Buddhist groups approached Christianity on the basis of comparative and historical studies, and based on their conviction that religion should serve societal goals and be compatible with the scientific knowledge of their times.

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Published
2020-02-16
How to Cite
Schrimpf, M. (2020). Reformist Buddhist Groups in the Late Meiji Era and Their Relationship to Christianity. Intercultural Relations, 3(2(6), 35-60. https://doi.org/10.12797/RM.02.2019.06.02