An Explanation of Monk’s Marriage in Japan ―The Ideas of Shinran and a Comparison with M.Luther―

Abstract

Buddhism is one of unique religions which prohibit having sex as its rule. Monks must uphold their precepts in which prohibits “any kind of” sex. And it is noted that, in laymen’ precepts, “indecent” sex is prohibited. It shows that the difference about sex is a clear distinction between monks and laymen.
In Japan, we can see monk’s marriage or their children. It shows Japanese monk’s violation of precepts; however, it has been perceived as an unique phenomenon among Buddhist countries.
In Japanese history, only has Jodosin sect permitted monk’s marriage among other sects. This sect was founded by Shinran (1173-1262), and it is said that he had married.
In order to explain his marriage, this paper focuses on the precepts and sutra which Shinran received and referred to as principles, and attempts to find a room for Shinran if he can possibly consider his marriage. Also, Shinran strongly emphasized on Tariki (work or power of Amidha Buddha). In this idea, there is no training which men can or should do. These points could enable Shinran to deny being a traditional monk who upholds precepts and practices at a temple.
In the western religious history, Martin Luther is known for having married under prohibition of sex. Comparing these two men of religion, there could be any common logic that Luther and Shinran shared, or any critical difference in their perception of marriage.
Throughout the logic of Shinran’s marriage, this paper attempts to provide an explanation of monk’s marriage in Japan.



Author Information
Ayako Osawa, Tokyo Institute of Tecnology, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2013
Stream: Ethics; Religion; Philosophy

This paper is part of the ACERP2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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