- Title Pages
- Editorial Note
- 1 Letter to Paul Carus (1896)
- 2 <i>Selections from</i> Shin Shūkyō ron (A New Interpretation of Religion)
- 3 Letter to Paul Carus (1897)
- 4 Christianity in Japan
- 5 Confucius
- 6 <i>Selection from</i> A Brief History of Early Chinese Philosophy
- 7 <i>Selections from</i> Suedenborugu (Swedenborg)
- 8 Zen, the Spiritual Heritage of the East
- 9 A Contemporary Buddhist View of Shinto
- 10 Swedenborg’s View of Heaven and “Other-Power”
- 11 <i>Selection from</i> Ignorance and World Fellowship
- 12 Zen and the Study of Confucianism (<i>Selection from</i> Zen and Its Influence on Japanese Culture)
- 13 What Is Religion?
- 14 <i>Selections from</i> Japanese Spirituality
- 15 Tea-Room Meditations
- 16 <i>Selections from</i> Essays in Zen Buddhism (First Series)
- 17 The Predicament of Modern Man
- 18 The Analytic and Synthetic Approach to Buddhism
- 19 The Answer Is in the Question
- 20 The Hands
- 21 Letter to Mr. Tatsuguchi
- 22 <i>Review of</i> Meditation and Piety in the Far East
- 23 <i>Selections from</i> Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist
- 24 Love and Power
- 25 Letter to Thomas Merton
- 26 Wisdom in Emptiness
- 27 Open Letter to President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev
- 28 Buddhism and Other Religions
- 29 Religion and Drugs
- Glossary of Chinese and Japanese Terms
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.
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