Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness

Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from the Kyoto School


This publication by Muto Kazuo is a significant Christian contribution to the predominantly Buddhist “Kyoto School of Philosophy.” Muto proposes a philosophy of religion in order to overcome the claim for Christian exclusivity, as proposed by Karl Barth and others. On such a foundation, he investigates the possibilities for mutual understanding between Buddhism and Christianity. Thereby he engages in a critical exchange with the Kyoto School philosophers Nishida, Tanabe, and Nishitani. Throughout his discourse, Muto applies their method of logical argument (the “dialectic” of soku) to the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism. He thus opens up new perceptions of Christian faith in the Asian context and, together with his Buddhist teachers, challenges the modern Western dialectical method of reasoning.

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Martin Repp, Th.D. (1984) Marburg University. 1991 – 2002 Associate Director of the NCC Center for the Study of Japanese Religions. 2004-2009 Professor for Religious Studies at Ryukoku University. Research and publications on Buddhism, New Religions, and interreligious communication. Presently Lecturer at Heidelberg University.


Mutō Kazuo (1913 - 1995) – An Introduction to his Life and Work
Martin Repp

1. Problems Facing Japanese Christianity Today
2. Theologism and Religionism
3. A New Possibility for a Philosophy of Religion
4. “Immanent Transcendence” in Religion
5. Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness
6. “Watch Your Step!”
7. Nothingness-in-Love – The Philosophy of Tanabe Hajime and Christianity
8. The Nishida–Tanabe Philosophy and Christianity

Selected Bibliography of Mutō Kazuo’s works

Bible quotations
All those interested in Asian philosophy, intellectual exchange between Buddhism and Christianity, interreligious dialogue, and Christianity in Japan, especially philosophers, Japanologists, historians, and theologians.
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