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Author: Martin Repp

In the framework of the general Buddhist concept of “karmic retribution (inga) of good and evil deeds, the Pure Land Buddhist tradition developed a unique way to treat the problem of evil persons. Based on Indian and Chinese sources, Japanese Pure Land tradition attempted to include also evil persons in the possibility to attain religious liberation. This is probably one of the most distinct features of Pure Land Buddhism in comparison with other Buddhist schools. During the Heian period this issue was called “birth of an evil person” (akunin ojo) into the Pure Land. During the end of this period, Honen began to argue that evil persons even have the proper disposition for birth into Pure Land because they can rely on Amida Buddha’s power. This kind of Pure Land discourse, however, did not permit moral libertinism, as it was the case of the “inherent awakening” (hongaku homon) discourse in Tendai Buddhism which developed during the end of the Heian period in order to justify “evil monks” (akuso). Honen’s Pure Land discourse maintained the tension between evil persons to be saved and the necessity for religious practice and for following the Buddhist precepts.

In: Probing the Depths of Evil and Good
Author: Martin Repp

In the framework of the general Buddhist concept of “karmic retribution (inga) of good and evil deeds, the Pure Land Buddhist tradition developed a unique way to treat the problem of evil persons. Based on Indian and Chinese sources, Japanese Pure Land tradition attempted to include also evil persons in the possibility to attain religious liberation. This is probably one of the most distinct features of Pure Land Buddhism in comparison with other Buddhist schools. During the Heian period this issue was called “birth of an evil person” (akunin ojo) into the Pure Land. During the end of this period, Honen began to argue that evil persons even have the proper disposition for birth into Pure Land because they can rely on Amida Buddha’s power. This kind of Pure Land discourse, however, did not permit moral libertinism, as it was the case of the “inherent awakening” (hongaku homon) discourse in Tendai Buddhism which developed during the end of the Heian period in order to justify “evil monks” (akuso). Honen’s Pure Land discourse maintained the tension between evil persons to be saved and the necessity for religious practice and for following the Buddhist precepts.

In: Probing the Depths of Evil and Good
In: Handbook of Religion and the Authority of Science
In: Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness
In: Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness