By William R. LaFleur

ISBN-10: 0691029652

ISBN-13: 9780691029658

Why may a rustic strongly motivated by means of Buddhism's reverence for all times enable legalized, commonly used abortion? both confusing to many Westerners is the japanese perform of mizuko rites, within which the fogeys of aborted fetuses pray for the future health of those rejected "lives." during this provocative research, William LaFleur examines abortion as a window at the tradition and ethics of Japan. whilst he contributes to the Western debate on abortion, exploring how the japanese unravel their conflicting feelings privately and steer clear of the pro-life/pro-choice politics that sharply divide americans at the factor.

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1. The BuddhaÕs traditional and supreme Tooth
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Ð man Newland
3. portray the objective: at the identity of the
Object of Negation (dgag bya) Ð Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
4. slicing the Roots of advantage: Tsong kha pa on the
Results of Anger Ð Daniel Cozort
5. Ethics because the foundation of a Tantric culture: Tsong kha pa
and the Founding of the dGe lugs Order in Tibet
Ð Elizabeth Napper
6. Bon rDzogs chen on Authenticity (pramÝna, tshad ma):
Prose and Poetry at the course Ð Anne Carolyn Klein
7. The dGe ldanÐbKaÕ brgyud culture of MahÝmudrÝ:
How a lot dGe ldan? How a lot bKaÕ brgyud?
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Meaning of ÒFoundational ConsciousnessÓ
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10. Authorship and Literary creation in
Classical Buddhist Tibet Ð JosŽ Ignacio Cabez—n
11. Altruism and Adversity: views from Psychoanalytic
Object relatives conception Ð Harvey B. Aronson
12. Drawing the metal Bow: A Bibliographic Appreciation
of the Literary Legacy of Paul Jeffrey Hopkins
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Contributors 327

Additional resources for Liquid Life: Abortion and Buddhism in Japan

Sample text

The connection between fecund waters and initial appearances of life runs throughout the mythologies and literatures of the archaic world. For the ancient Jews, the connection was made as follows: "And God said, Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let the birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens. So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm .... " So too did Thales (£1. "8 Water was even the perfect model of goodness.

It is, of course, true that modern medicine has made certain matters more complex for us, especially in terms of the kinds of ethical decisions we must make. Questions of sustaining or taking "life" get complicated-when, for instance, we speak of a certain person as being "brain dead" even when by other gauges some kind of life is still present. It is too easy, however, to project onto the past a simplicity that was probably rarely, if ever, there. Much of what we call religion and the attempt to be philosophical are born out of the human being's 10ngstanding desire to take something other than the simplest and most matter-of-fact view of life and death.

But to the eye that allows the symbol to be ambivalent, the second truth is also a reality: the water-child has reverted to a former state but only as preparation for later rebirth in this world. And in Japan the acceptance of both truths was wide, having deep roots in cultural history. There both the most archaic stratum of religious belief and Buddhism, something introduced later from abroad, maintained that in some sense the dead "return" to this world. " A water-child is a child who-has only just begun to emerge from the great watery unknown; it could just as easily be said to be water that has only just begun to take shape as a human-being-to-be.

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Liquid Life: Abortion and Buddhism in Japan by William R. LaFleur


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