The Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce a new work in its Contemporary Issues in Buddhist Studies series, produced jointly with BDK America, and marketed and distributed by the University of Hawai’i Press.
Fabio Rambelli, Zen Anarchism: The Egalitarian Dharma of Uchiyama Gudō
with an introduction by Sallie B. King
Pp: xxviii + 116. (price not yet set, check University of Hawai’i Press website between middle and end of November).
These essays from the fin de siècle Japanese Zen priest Uchiyama Gudō— collected, translated and introduced here by Fabio Rambelli—provide us entry into an aspect of Buddhist history that is otherwise little known, the relations that can be constructed between the buddhadharma and radical political critique and action. Uchiyama resisted the oppression and exploitation of his own parishioners by the political powers that eventually led Japan into military adventurism and empire building. The importance of these works, however, reaches beyond the history of Buddhism in modern Japan to deepen our appreciation of the complexity of the tradition as a source for resisting modernity’s seemingly ever more pervasive forms of social control. For the adaptation of Buddhism to the present day, Uchiyama’s vision of Buddhism as a social critique may serve to confront the conformism, complacent self-satisfaction and narcissism of the consumerist appropriation of Buddhism as yet another commodity in the religio-therapeutic marketplace.
Fabio Rambelli obtained his Ph.D. in Italy in 1992. Studied in Japan under Yamaguchi Masao. Presently professor of Japanese religions and intellectual history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he holds the International Shinto Foundation Chair in Shinto Studies Publications include: Buddhas and Kami in Japan (with Mark Teeuwen); Vegetal Buddhas, Buddhist Materiality; Buddhism and Iconoclasm in East Asia: A History (with Eric Reinders); and A Buddhist Theory of Semiotics. Currently working on representations of India in premodern Japan and on the history of the development of Shinto as related to global intellectual networks and their impact on Japanese culture.