introduction to the lotus sutra

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“An elegant historical, textual, and philosophical overview of what is arguably the most widely disseminated scripture of Mahayana Buddhism.”
—Mark Unno, editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy


Yoshiro Tamura Gene Reeves

The Lotus Sutra—one of the most popular Buddhist classics—is here accessibly introduced by one of its most eminent scholars.

“Soon after entering university in December of 1943, I was sent to the front as a student soldier. I wondered if I were allowed to bring but a single book on the trip, possibly to my death, which would I want to bring. It was the Lotus Sutra.”
—from the author’s Preface

Having developed a lifelong appreciation of the Lotus Sutra—even carrying a dog-eared copy with him through service in World War II—Yoshiro Tamura sought to author an introduction to this beloved work of Buddhist literature. Tamura wanted it to be different than other basic explorations of the text; his introduction would be plain-spoken, relevant and sensitive to modern concerns, and well-informed by contemporary scholarship. He succeeded marvelously with Introduction to the Lotus Sutra, which Gene Reeves—Tamura’s student and translator of the popular English edition of The Lotus Sutra—translates and introduces in English for the first time here. Tackling issues of authenticity in the so-called “words of Buddha,” the influence of culture and history on the development of the Lotus Sutra, and the sutra’s role in Japanese life, Introduction to the Lotus Sutra grounds this ancient work of literature in the real, workaday world, revealing its continued appeal across the ages.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 208 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
  • $18.95
  • ISBN 9781614290803
  • ebook
  • 208 pages
  • $11.99
  • ISBN 9781614290995
about the author
Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Yoshiro Tamura (1921-1989) was a well-regarded scholar of Japanese Buddhism, known particularly for his study of the Lotus Sutra and the traditions that developed around it and the person of Nichiren in Japan.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Gene Reeves has been studying, teaching, and writing in Japan for twenty-­five years, primarily on Buddhism and interfaith relations. Now an international advisor at Rissho Kosei­-kai, he is also professor emeritus at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and a founder of the International Buddhist Congregation in Tokyo, where he serves as special minister. As a Buddhist teacher, he travels frequently to China, Singapore, Taiwan, America, and Europe to give talks at universities and churches, mainly on the Lotus Sutra. He is the translator of The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic, editor of A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra, and author of Stories of the Lotus Sutra.
In addition to his work coordinating an annual international seminar on the Lotus Sutra, Reeves has been long active in interfaith conversations and organizations; he was chair of the planning committee for the 1987 Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) at Stanford University; he was one of the founders of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions; and he was a long­-term member of the Board of the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies and an international advisor to the Niwano Peace Foundation. In Japan he has been an advisor to the Japan Liaison Committee of the IARF and a participant in the Religious Summit at Mt. Hiei and in various activities of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. He has participated in both the World Buddhist Forum in China and in the International Lay Buddhist Forum in Korea and Spain. He is retired from both the University of Tsukuba in Japan and from Renmin University of China.

Other books by Gene Reeves:
The Lotus Sutra
The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

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