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A Sociological Inquiry into a Failed or Marginal Religious Movement - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: Nichiren Shoshu Cult The cult is named after its founder Nichiren Shoshu who was born in 1222 (Causton 38). He grew up as a controversial philosopher. Some Buddhist viewed this religious movement as a harmful cult, and others saw it as a meditation process…
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A Sociological Inquiry into a Failed or Marginal Religious Movement
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A Sociological Inquiry into a Failed or Marginal Religious Movement

Download file to see previous pages... Max Weber states that social movements that are involved in gaining political utopia cannot be classified as religious movements despite their capacity to inspire religious commitment. Nicheren Shoshu cult had some its basic teachings. These teachings include chanting practice, fundamental respect, ten worlds of life doctrine, ten factors of existence and the three proofs teaching. Each of these teachings was considered controversial. There was a strong opposition towards Nicheren Shoshu cult and many abandoned the cult to other Buddhism sects. The two main Buddhism sects that absorbed members of the Nicheren Shoshu cult include Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism focuses on the idea of a deity while Hinayana Buddhism implements the principles of Pali canon (Hurst 18). Controversial Chanting practice Nicheren taught the members of his cult that one there was no need to exercise chanting. He described that Buddha new the inner oneself, and there was no need to declare the needs or tribulations through chanting. Therefore, the members of his cult did exercise chanting rather they assumed that Buddha is aware of their trials, tribulations as well as needs, and there was no need to request for any favors whatsoever. Several Buddhist followers welcomed these teachings while others opposed it. Those who adhered to the teachings joined the cult while those who opposed the teachings continued following other main Buddhist cults. Majority of the Buddhist followers were against these teachings of none chanting. As a result, the Chances of Nicheren Shoshu cult survivals were minimal (Causton 38). Fundamental respect Nicheren Shoshu introduced an object referred to as Gohonzon in substitute to Buddha. He argued that Gohonzon should be used as a substitute to Buddha. The cult followers were supposed to submit to the object through chanting. He also claimed that the object is the most his, and it should be accorded respect. The fundamental principle of the cult was based on the object. Similarly, this idea did not meet a warm reception. Majority rejected the idea and worked towards designing and implementing sustainable strategies to ruin the life of the cult. Ten worlds of life doctrine In Buddhism there the ten worlds of life are sub dived into two these include: the six basic realms of desire and the four noble realms. The six basic realms of desire include: hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity and heaven. The four noble reams include: learning, realization, bodhisattvahood and Buddhahood. However, Nicheren Shoshu cults described these realms as non existence and are meant to design the lifestyle of the Buddhist followers. According to his teaching on this issue he insisted that hell or heaven does not exist. The belief is meant to scare away the humanity at large from enjoying life to the maximum. After death, that is the end of an individual soul and there is no way it can rise to heaven or descend to hell. The four noble reams were meant to create a division between the individuals. The division resulted to the gap between the rich and the poor, have and the have nots (Causton 38). The economic status of an individual depends on an individual hard work and luck rather than devotion to the Buddha. Majority his cult followers were inspired by this particular teaching which formed the spiritual part of the cult. However, most of the Buddhist followers were not swayed by the Nicheren Shoshu explanation of this doctrine and therefore they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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