Examines the influence of Shintoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism on Japanese ethics, with implications for our understanding of various social, economic, and environmental problems.
In Encounter with Enlightenment, Robert E. Carter puts forth the East, and specifically Japan, as a source of possible solutions to the world's social, economic, and environmental problems. Not only is the book a sustained scholarly analysis of both the religious and philosophical roots of Japan's distinctive ethical approach to life, but it also provides the Western reader with a context for understanding Eastern values—values that although familiar to the West tend to be deemphasized. Encounter with Enlightenment begins a horizontal fusion between East and West, and establishes a common ground for mutual understanding and for working toward an ethical approach that could resolve some of the earth's difficulties.
Robert E. Carter is Professor of Philosophy at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. He is the author of Becoming Bamboo: Western and Eastern Explorations of the Meaning of Life and The Nothingness Beyond God: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Nishida Kitaro; editor of God, the Self, and Nothingness: Reflections Eastern and Western; and translator of Watsuji Tetsuro's Rinrigaku, also published by SUNY Press
"Encounter with Enlightenment provides a comprehensive and compelling account not only of the history and development of Japanese ethics, but also serves as an excellent introduction to and analysis of Japanese religious philosophical thought … The book both calls and challenges its readers to move out of a strictly western framework and into a genuinely global dialogue about ethics and human being-in-the-world. " — Religious Studies Review
"This new book by Robert E. Carter is the first to give a comprehensive view and a deep understanding of the characteristics of Japanese ethics. Carter describes clearly the early mythological tradition associated with Shinto, as well as the role that Confucianism and Buddhism played in forming an enlightened moral character. Furthermore, he describes how Japanese philosophers in recent times have sought after a new concept of humanity which can unite East and West. " — Yuasa Yasuo, author of The Body, Self-Cultivation, and Ki-Energy
"…extraordinary…Carter's integration of Japanese ethics in relation to Zen is admirable. " — Frederick Franck, author of The Zen of Seeing
"Carter has now anchored his position as the comparative philosophy scholar whose clear and unmistakable writing makes him the favorite author of students of the Japanese philosophical tradition. In this new book, Carter sensitively and faithfully explains not only the basics of Japanese ethics, but also the diverse sources of inspiration behind Japanese moral philosophy (Shintoism, Confucianism, Buddhism), as well as modern Japanese intellectual and spiritual encounters with the West. " — David Edward Shaner, author of The Bodymind Experience in Japanese Buddhism