Tricycle Makes Space for Shinran

Tricycle magazine has made space on their website for a brief retrospective of articles on Shinran Shonin and the teachings of Jodo Shinshu. The links are posted on the Tricycle Editor's Blog. Here's a sample:

Beyond Religion: An interview with Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom
by Jeff Wilson

How has Shinran made an impact on you personally?
I see Shinran as a towering figure. He took Buddhism, turned it upside down, and made it something that could illuminate people’s personal experience in a new way. Even though it comes out of medieval Japan, I believe his teaching is universal. And so he intrigues my imagination.

I think it’s the right time to explore a deeper interpretation of Shinran, because I think it might help those who are racked by guilt, by distinctions of flesh and spirit, and by the other dualisms of Western culture.

Born Again Buddhist
by Clark Strand

One morning not long ago, I was born again. Though unexpected, this was never outside the realm of possibility. According to the teachings of Pure Land Buddhism, all who call Namu Amida Butsu, Amida Buddha’s name, may be reborn in the “Land of Utmost Bliss,” provided they truly believe that he will save them. That, of course, had been the problem. Try as I might to finesse my way into the Pure Land, it didn’t matter as long as I didn’t believe.