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Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume IIIComparative Religion$
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Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Richard M. Jaffe, Jeff Wilson, and Tomoe Moriya

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520269170

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520269170.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2020

What Is Religion?

What Is Religion?

(p.102) 13 What Is Religion?
Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume III
Jeff Wilson, Tomoe Moriya, Richard M. Jaffe
University of California Press

This chapter contains an essay by D. T. Suzuki, published in 1940 by Buddhism in England, the journal of the Buddhist Society in London. In this essay, Suzuki challenges the existing framework of “religion” that had long been defined in terms of Christian models. He describes religion based on his own experience instead of quoting philosophical or scientific discourses and addresses the fundamental mystical experience, commonly shared in the East and the West. According to Suzuki, “karma is the source of annoyance” and ignorance leads us to conflicts in the karma-bound suffering world, but nevertheless “the realm of no-karma must be realized in our everyday life.” He argues that freedom is not a type of escape, but a coming to terms with life as it is on the deepest level, such that ordinary actions are suffused with experiential awareness of ultimate reality. This awareness, Suzuki asserts, is religion.

Keywords:   religion, D. T. Suzuki, Buddhism, mystical experience, karma, ignorance, freedom

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