This is the third of four posts that I am writing to answer a question posed by a dharma friend named Ray.
Ray asks why I think the view of modern Shin Buddhist scholars - that Amida Buddha is symbol and mythos rather than a real person - is such a lamentable diversion, and so harmful to the propagation of Shinran’s teaching.
These four posts are my answer to his question. This post, in particular is about his use of Karen Armstrong’s teaching about what’s wrong with fundamentalist theology and what’s right with modernist and post-modernist theology - an approach that Ray uses to provide him with tools for understanding Shinran and Shin Buddhism.
I call Ray’s approach - which is also the approach of modern Shin Buddhist scholars and clerics - “Shin Semiotics”.
In a broader context, these posts concerning “Shin Semiotics” offer a basis for an honest discussion around what I call “The Shinran Manifesto”: the call to RETURN TO THE TRUE TEACHING OF SHINRAN, OUR TRUE TEACHER . (more…)