IBS Monograph Series

The Monograph series published exceptional Shin Buddhist scholarship on such topics as Shin Buddhism in the modern world, and contemporary perspective on Pure Land teachings.

Current of Change: American Buddhist Women Speak Out on Jodo Shinshu
by Patricia Kanaya Usuki

In this bold and timely study, Patricia Kanaya Usuki allows the voices of American Buddhist women to be heard and their views on Jodo Shinshu to be clearly known. Through exhaustive research, surveys and interviews, she points out that women are aware of the stark contrast between the egalitarian teachings of Shinran and the male-dominant, culturally Japanese institution that continues to exist today. They challenge facing Jodo Shinshu in America, she offers, is to face the dynamics of change already taking place within it and embrace its “opportunity to reinterpret the Shin Buddhist doctrine in new ways that speak to contemporary people everywhere.”

Rev. Usiki’s book is now available through the BCA Bookstore online or in Berkeley.

The Life of Shinran Shonin: The Journey to Self Acceptance
by Alfred Bloom

Download a PDF version of Prof. Bloom’s monograph.

Shinran’s life has great historical interest because it was the chrysalis within which a new and distinctive form of Buddhist piety and thought developed.His religious experience gave him a penetrating insight into the defiled nature of human existence which became the foundation for his understanding that salvation is through faith alone. Just as this perception is historically significant, the life out of which it arose also gains in historical significance.The course of his life has a direct relation to the thought which he formulated for it is quite unlikely that,had he not been separated from his master Honen,or chosen to live a life among the peasants of the eastern provinces,would he have contributed to the development of Pure Land tradition in such a creative manner as his thought reveals.