Inequality in the rhetoric of Buddhist-kami relations

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Inequality in the rhetoric of Buddhist-kami relations

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dc.contributor.advisor Drott, Edward Robertson en_US
dc.contributor.author Waters, Diamante
dc.contributor.other University of Missouri-Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertations. Theses. 2012 Theses en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-05T16:49:25Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-05T16:49:25Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.date.submitted 2012 Summer en_US
dc.identifier.other WatersD-073012-T502
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10355/15975
dc.description Title from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on November 5, 2012). en_US
dc.description The entire thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical public abstract appears in the public.pdf file. en_US
dc.description Thesis advisor: Professor Edward Drott en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description M.A. University of Missouri--Columbia 2012. en_US
dc.description Dissertations, Academic -- University of Missouri--Columbia -- Religious studies. en_US
dc.description "July 2012" en_US
dc.description.abstract Buddhism has long been praised and viewed as religion that embraces other faiths without compromising itself or the other religion. In history, Buddhism has been thought to meld with the indigenous traditions it encountered harmoniously and with little tension. However, though Buddhist rhetoric seeks to give this impression, under the surface a colonialist attitude can be found. In Japan, this takes form in the lowering and subsequent elevation of indigenous gods (kami). As Buddhism gained power in Japan, Buddhist deities and methods came to be seen as ways to control and subjugate the unruly indigenous gods. From the Nara to the Kamakura period indigenous gods had to regain their status by working their way up the Buddhist eschatological ladder to eventually gain the title of suijaku, emanation of a Buddha. Even with this title however, kami were seen as inferior to their Buddhist counterparts, with few exception. This study analyzes ritual and literary texts from the Nara-Kamakura periods to show the tension between the status of kami and Buddhist deities during these periods. These texts show that kami remained subject to the rule of Buddhist deities despite the awarding of impressive sounding titles and the rhetoric of hongaku which expressed equality of essence. These findings suggest that throughout history Buddhism has not been as egalitarian as it seems, and its rhetoric should be reevaluated for its colonialistic tendencies. en_US
dc.format.extent iii, 48 pages en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
dc.relation.ispartof 2012 Freely available theses (MU) en_US
dc.subject honji suijaku en_US
dc.subject indigenous gods en_US
dc.subject Buddhism en_US
dc.subject colonialistic tendencies en_US
dc.title Inequality in the rhetoric of Buddhist-kami relations en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Religious studies en_US
thesis.degree.grantor University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
thesis.degree.name M.A. en_US
thesis.degree.level Masters en_US


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