Overcoming Materialism, Overcoming Modernity
The Conclusion examines the various theoretical and practical problems of the accommodation between Buddhism and Marxism, in particular the convergence of Japanese Buddhist ethics with philosophical and historical materialism, through an analysis of some the theoretical writings of figures discussed in the preceding chapters. This convergence is situated within the context of notable political shifts and events—namely, World War II and the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945—which weakened and muted much progressive Buddhism. Instead, a type of nonsectarian, “existential” Buddhism rose to prominence at this time. Finally, the larger issue of “dharmic materialism” is raised, in relation to traditional Buddhist ethics, Marxism, and contemporary humanism.
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