Re: virus: Who evangelizes budhism?

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:10:34 +0000

In message <>, KMO <> writes
>My point here is that while Buddhist institutions are strong and well
>represented in Japan and other asian countries, Buddhism does not play
>the same psychological role in the minds of the layity as one would
>expect if one thought that Buddhism was the Christianity (qua dominant
>religion) of the East.

Fair enough.

>In contrast to the tradional Buddhist power structures, the new Buddhist
>religions in Japan and elsewhere DO operate on the psyche of the
>individual lay practicioner in a way that is more familiar to us in the
>west, i.e. they provide a sense of community and what we would think of
>as a "religious experience."

Umm, that's certainly not what I would think of as a "religious experience". Though now I think of it, I suppose anyone taking an "outsider" stance would tend to see things that way, because the concept of an actual religious experience would tend to validate the religion.

>> Probably the most important cultural contribution of Japan
>> to the modern world is Zen, developed almost entirely
>> within Japanese monasteries.
>Actually, Zen (or Ch'an) was imported to Japan from China. The founders
>of the major Japanese Zen sects all studied in China.

I know that, I said "developed", not "originated"! How much of the Zen now in the West came directly from China?