Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History
This present book systemizes the notes of lectures that I gave on numerous occasions at Taisho University. As these notes are now being printed in book form, this book will be entitled Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal History, which points to the major concern of this work: the development and changes that Pure Land doctrines have undergone in China. However, religious doctrines are accompanied by faith, and this in turn carries within itself an impetus to dissemination and expansion. Therefore, while we are relating the changes and developments that Pure Land doctrines have undergone, we are at the same time narrating the historical facts of the faith’s growth and expansion.
Buddhism in China has almost two thousand years of history behind it; moreover, China is vast in geographic extent, and the religious phenomena that have arisen within it from the time of its origins to the present day are innumerable. It would be almost impossible to study these phenomena one by one, and I believe that it would not be an easy task to bring together the data involved in such a history, regardless of the criteria adopted. In the present work, I have attempted, to the best of my abilities, to bring together as much relevant historical data as possible, and to delineate the antecedents and later ramifications of any given doctrinal theory in my exposition of that theory. However, when the final editing of this work was finished, I discovered several places where further revision was called for, and I am filled with remorse that in this respect the work remains incomplete.