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Jørn Borup

Abstract

Religious diversity has emerged as a new scholarly field, but historically, and especially beyond a Western sphere, religious diversity has been the norm of most lived religion. As such, a focus on diversity is a perspective revealing monolithic traditions as particular and constructed, rather than universal and essential. Diversity has been used in emic frameworks for discursive and institutional legitimation. Religious traditions have oscillated between different types of diversities and unities in strategic identification and authority narratives. This article will present examples of such inter- and intra-religious unity and diversity representations from Asian (Buddhist, Hindu, Chinese and Japanese) philosophical and sociological contexts in a historical and comparative perspective. While acknowledging post-orientalist theories and critical discourse analyses, it also discusses the importance of seeing such negotiations of diversities as quintessential ingredients of lived religion.

Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism

Myōshinji, a living religion

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Jørn Borup

Zen Buddhist ideas and practices in many ways are unique within the study of religion, and artists, poets and Buddhists practitioners worldwide have found inspiration from this tradition. Until recent years, representations of Zen Buddhism have focussed almost entirely on philosophical, historical or “spiritual” aspects. This book investigates the contemporary living reality of the largest Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhist group, Myōshinji. Drawing on textual studies and ethnographic fieldwork, Jørn Borup analyses how its practitioners use and understand their religion, how they practice their religiosity and how different kinds of Zen Buddhists (monks, nuns, priest, lay people) interact and define themselves within the religious organization. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism portrays a living Zen Buddhism being both uniquely interesting and interestingly typical for common Buddhist and Japanese religiosity.

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Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger

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Edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger

Series:

Edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger

Series:

Edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger

Mindfulness, yoga, Tantra, Zen, martial arts, karma, feng shui, Ayurveda. Eastern ideas and practices associated with Asian religions and spirituality have been accommodated to a global setting as both a spiritual/religious and a broader cultural phenomenon. ‘Eastern spirituality’ is present in organized religions, the spiritual New Age market, arts, literature, media, therapy, and health care but also in public institutions such as schools and prisons.

Eastspirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West describes and analyses such concepts, practices and traditions in their new ‘Western’ and global contexts as well as in their transformed expressions and reappropriations in religious traditions and individualized spiritualities ‘back in the East’ within the framework of mutual interaction and circulation, regionally and globally.

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Edited by Lene Kühle, William Hoverd and Jørn Borup

Abstract

The card network has worked in an explorative manner, searching for all the issues, concerns and problematics which may influence how religious diversity is defined and conceptualised. In this concluding chapter, the themes in Terminology, Methodology, Context, Framing, Theories, Funding/Institutional Logistics and outcomes are gathered and discussed and a check list drafted for researchers researching religious diversity. The check list is aimed at preventing uncritical reproduction of narratives about religious diversity by practicing reflexivity in their work on religious diversity.