Is the BCA silent on issues of social justice? For many, it might seem like there’s no Shin Buddhist public voice in the American discourse on Buddhism and social justice. We’ve been asked several times about this, so today is part one of a larger conversation about Shin Buddhism and social justice. We start by focusing on the historical and cultural contexts in which Shin Buddhist thought and practice develop both in Japan and in the U.S. In the U.S., of course, we need to be attentive to history of anti-Japanese sentiment and Japanese American internment that shapes how we talk about our tradition and engage with the world. The subtext, of course, is the question of whether our institutions are living up to a Buddhist ideal of equality and the extent to which Buddhism can be used and exploited to use and exploit others.
Some of the reference and resources mentioned in this episode: