Tuesday, November 12, 2013

mental leftovers

Working pretty much flat out from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a reading/writing project yesterday, there were a variety of mental scraps that fell from the table. They were tasty in my mind, but simply did not fill the bill. But I dislike waste and so, without context, here are two:

-- "None of the Zen sects in modern Japan have any doctrinal basis whatsoever for married clergy let alone philandering clergy," according to Brian Victoria, a Zen monk, Buddhist scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, and author of Zen at War, a work that inspired the branches of some Zen sects to make post-war apologies for a Zen Buddhist complicity in the Japanese militarism of World War II.

-- Working on something else today, I found myself musing that religions spawn cults and cults spawn religions. What binds these two is the human beings who inhabit a much-examined and entirely non-existent chasm between them.


  1. "None of the Zen sects in modern Japan have any doctrinal basis whatsoever for married clergy let alone philandering clergy"

    Nothing is news in this statement. It is well documented that the the Japanese government tried to destroy Buddhism in the mid 1800's. Not being particularly effective, during the 1870's the government decreed in effect that Buddhist monks were free grow their hair, eat meat and marry.

    For a different perspective on the issues of sexuality and marriage in the Buddhist clergy in Japan see
    Neither Monk nor Layman:
    Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism

    Richard Jaffe
    © 2002, Princeton University Press

    See a sample at http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s7171.html

  2. "Doctrinal"

    Yes. I did consider that, too. It is worthy of thought, and discussion.

    Before dealing with specifics.

    Does doctrine hold the same status in Buddhism as it does in, say, Roman Catholicism?

    Does the answer of the sort "it's part of Buddhist doctrine" necessarily make sense?

    More relevant to the post -- Does a doctrine that fails to adequately deal with the sexuality of the Buddhist Clergy make sense?

  3. Buddhism or Anti-Buddhism of the kind preached on this blog are equally doctrinal. And equally irrelevant to life as lived outside of a particular kind of elitist ghetto.