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Nichiren

(190 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] (Daishonin; Feb 16, 1222, Kominato, Awa Province – Oct 13, 1282, Ikegami, Musashi Province [now Tokyo]), last of the protagonists of the so-called Japanese reform Buddhism of the 13th century, and founder of the Hokke-shū. Born in humble circumstances, at the age of 11 Nichiren entered a tendai temple, was ordained at 16, and received the monastic name Zeshōbō Renchō. After studying various schools, he became convinced that perfect doctrine was found only in the Lotus-Sūtra. In 1253 he adopted the name Nichiren (“sun lotus…

Nichiren-Shōshū

(295 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] (“orthodox Nichiren school”), the smallest of the Buddhist sects in Japan (III, 5) that are based on Nichiren (Buddhism: I, 2.d). The Nichiren school sees itself in the tradition of Nikkō (1246–1332), one of the six chief students of Nichiren, who left the main temple Kuon-ji in 1290 in the quarrel over Nichiren’s grave, and founded the Taiseki-ji. In 1872 the Taiseki-ji …

Reincarnation

(1,423 words)

Author(s): Badewien, Jan | Kleine, Christoph | Schneider, Johannes
[German Version] I. The word reincarnation, like the similar expression transmigration of souls (I), from which it is generally not distinguished, refers to various notions of how a person’s soul or spirit may be reembodied for a new life (or series of lives) on earth. A possible terminological distinction might be made between transmigration and reincarnation by restricting reincarnation primarily to the modern Western variant first proposed by G.…

Hell

(5,978 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Frankemölle, Hubert | Lang, Bernhard | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Buddhism – IX. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. Hell as a place of retribution in the afterlife for those who continually transgress the religiously sanctioned rules of their community is not specifically Christian or monotheistic. But it is also not an idea that springs automatically from the question of how the dead exist (Death). Although hell was long viewed as a…

Pure Land

(179 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] (Chinese chʾing tʾu, Japanese jōdo), in Mahāyāna Buddhism a land free of earthly defilements, which a buddha or bodhisattva created in fulfillment of his vow to deliver all beings and by virtue of his merits; there he preaches the dharma (Redemption: IX). The most important Pure Land is Amitābha’s Sukhāvatī. To be reborn there is a paramount goal, and not just for adherents of the Pure Land school (Chʾing Tʾu). Other important Pure Lands are those of Akṣobhya, Bhaiṣajyaguru, Avalokiteśvara, and Śakyamuni. The Vimalakīrtisūtra defines the Pure Land not as an ot…

Ch'ing T'u/Jōdo-shū

(439 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] Ch'ing-t'u (Chinese)/Jōdo-shū (Japanese), “School of the Pure Land,” is the name of a major school of East Asian Buddhism (I, 2.d); its goal is rebirth in the “Pure Land” of the Buddha Amitābha. Although the cult was introduced into China in the 2nd century ce, the term itself does not appear until the 7th century. Traditionally a brotherhood of 123 monks and laymen on Mount Lu under Hui Yuan (334–416), founded in 402, is considered the prototype of Chinese Ch'ing-t'u; in fact, however, the teachings co…

Death

(11,861 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Cancik, Hubert | Liess, Kathrin | Necker, Gerold | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Religions – II. Death and the Realm of the Dead in the Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Practical Theology – X. Art – XI. Islam – XII. Buddhism – XIII. Hinduism I. Religious Studies and History of Religions 1. General Modern religious criticism regards religion as compensation for h…

Jātaka

(276 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] (Pāli/Sanskrit: birth narratives), designation for a narrative of an event from one of the earlier lives of the Buddha. Jātaka are considered one of the nine compositional forms ( anga) of Buddhist literature. In addition to the canonical Jātaka, narratives of the same type are dispersed throughout Buddhist literature in diverse languages. The center of the Jātaka is composed in verse form and is attributed to the Buddha himself. Strictly speaking, only these verses have canonical status, while the greater section, composed in prose, is considered commentary. In the Jātaka, the Buddha in an earlier existence can assume the role of the protagonist, a secondary character or…

Poetry

(9,931 words)

Author(s): Seybold, Klaus | Bekkum, Wout J. van | Brucker, Ralph | Rösler, Wolfgang | Pollmann, Karla | Et al.
[German Version] I. Bible and Ancient Judaism 1. Old Testament a. General. In biblical studies, poetry (Gk ποίησις/ poíēsis) in contrast to prose generally comprises stanzaic texts in language employing patterns of rhythm and sound, whose structure and style are determined by both linguistic (sound patters, rhyme, clause sequences, etc.) and nonlinguistic factors (so-called constraints: music, ¶ extent, parallel structure, setting, etc.). We do not know the ancient Hebrew poetic terminology, although poetry constitutes a …

Kami

(255 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] is a Japanese term for anything that inspires awe on account of its exceptional properties. This may refer to deities, spirits, humans, animals, plants, or landscapes. The origins of the word, which is written with the Chinese character

Tendai Shū

(363 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] one of the major Buddhist denominations of Japan. The Chinese precursor of the Tendai Shū, the Tiantai zong, was founded in the 6th century by Zhiyi (538–597) on Mount Tiantai. With no immediate precursors in any Indian school of thought, it stands out as a decidedly Chinese interpretation of Mahāyāna Buddhism, with its culmination in the Saddharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra (Lotus-Sūtra). In its ontology, metaphysics, and logic, it is based extensively on Mādhyamika philosophy, interpreted unconventionally. The teachings of Tiantai were introduced into Japan by Saichō (766–820), who traveled to China in 804 with an official delegation; there he studied the teachings of Tiantai along with the currently popular esoteric rituals, Zen mediation, and the rituals for consecrating Mahāyāna monks. After his return in 805, he founded a small religious community on Mount Hi…

God, Representations and Symbols of

(7,207 words)

Author(s): Uehlinger, Christoph | Koch, Guntram | Stietencron, Heinrich v. | Kleine, Christoph | Wädow, Gerd
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – III. Greco-Roman World – IV. Religions of India – V. Buddhism – VI. Chinese Religions – VII. Japan I. Terminology Gods manifest themselves in the human world; after the analogy of …

Shinran

(431 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] (also called Shakkū, Zenshin; 1173–1262), Japanese monk, considered the founder of the True Pure Land School (Jōdo shinshū; Japan: III, 5). Shinran was born to a family in Hino near Kyoto. At the age of nine, he traveled to Mount Hiei, the center of Buddhist learning (Monasteries: III), where he was ordained by the renowned priest Jien (1155–1225) and studied the teachings of Tendai Shū. He served as a simple temple priest at the Jōgyō-dō, a temple dedicated to the cult of Amitābh…

Hereafter, Concepts of the

(5,151 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Janowski, Bernd | Necker, Gerold | Haase, Mareile | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Art History I. Religious Studies All cultures have concepts of a hereafter or beyond (“the next world”), although they are extremely diverse. They involve a realm of existence different from the visible earthly world but nevertheless thought of as real. Concepts of the hereafter are part of cosmology and therefore are related to the real world: the hereafter may be localize…

State and Religion

(2,721 words)

Author(s): Besier, Gerhard | Herms, Eilert | Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] I. The Problem In Western societies, the relationship between the state and religion is determined less by religion’s constitutional status – freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional right everywhere – than by historical tradition. Where the major confession…

Paradise

(5,515 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. History of Doctrine and Dogmatics – IV. Judaism – V. Islam – VI. Buddhism – VII. History of Art and Literature I. Religious Studies The history of the term “paradise” is informative for determining its meaning. The word “paradise” is derived from the ancient Iranian * paridaēza, literally “surrounding wall.” It appears as a loanword in many other languages, for example as the Akkadian pardēsu, the Hebrew פַּרְדֵּס/ pardes or the Greek παράδεισος/ parádeisos. These terms denote an enclosed park or garden (cf. Xeno-¶ phon, Anabasis VI 29,4) and in the Achaemenid period particularly the royal domain. Only in the Septuagint, through the use of parádeisos to translate גַּן־עֵדֶן/ gan-ʿeden (Gen…

State Cult

(1,973 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph | Otto, Eckart | Kern, Martin | Pye, Michael
[German Version] I. History of Religions State cults in the narrow sense are religious ceremonies, governed by tradition or law, performed in the name of the state and for its benefit; typically they are addressed to extrasensory powers such as gods, demons, natural numina, or personalized cosmic forces. It is necessary to distinguish cults celebrated regularly at fixed times and places from those staged on a particular occasion such as an enthronement, the death of a ruler, a natural disaster, an epi…

Tripiṭaka

(277 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] ̣(Sanskrit, “three baskets”; Pāli tipiṭaka), the three collections of authoritative scriptures in Buddhism (Canon: VII): the Vinayapiṭaka, Sūtrapiṭaka and Abhidharmapiṭaka. The Vinayapiṭaka comprises (1) the Prātimokṣa (penitential formulary and list of the prohibitions applying to monks and nuns [Monasticism: IV]), (2) the Karmavācanā (procedural rules for legal actions of the order [Saṃgha]), (3) the Sūtravibhaṅga (detailed explanations of the Buddha regarding the prohibitions listed in the Prātimokṣa), (4) the Skandhaka (rules governing commun…