Studies in Japanese Buddhism

Studies in Japanese Buddhism

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Studies in Japanese Buddhism

Studies in Japanese Buddhism

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In sending this book forth to the public I am keenly aware of the fact that the magnitude of the subject with which it deals is such that it may seem absurd to try to cover it in such a short space. Any one chapter might easily be expanded into a large volume without even then going into very great details. And yet I feel that a general, brief survey of the subject, such as this book tries to give, is on the whole the wisest plan when one considers the present degree of interest in Oriental religions and philosophies on the part of Western readers. There is still so very little in English books on Japanese Buddhism of even a general character that no author can hope to get much of a hearing who does not confine himself largely to merely the outstanding facts and characteristics of his theme. Then further should it be said that even the interested student who enters this field must ever be on his guard lest in the multiplicity of the details -- and in Japanese Buddhism there is a wealth of this -- he lose sight of the main trend of the subject.

As stated in the preface by Dr. H. M. MacCracken, this volume comprises the Deems Lectures for the year 1913, but it should be said that the lectures as originally given have been almost entirely rewritten and considerably expanded. The form of the lectures has, however, determined in general the main trend of thought in the book

Naturally I feel myself indebted to a great many writers and to other friends with whom I have talked on this great subject during my eleven years of residence in Tōkyō. This, as far as books written in European languages are concerned, has been partly acknowledged, but I wish to make special mention here of the late Professor Arthur Lloyd, whose pioneer work was of great value to me at the beginning of my studies . . .

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