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Against HarmonyProgressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan$
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James Mark Shields

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190664008

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190664008.001.0001

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Overcoming Materialism, Overcoming Modernity

(p.244) Conclusion
Against Harmony

James Mark Shields

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   radicalism, Marxism, materialism, humanism, engaged Buddhism

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