The Response of Soka Gakkai to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personhood, Interiority, and a Civil Society in Crisis Mode

This paper presents a discussion based on research into what Buddhist practice looks like in Soka Gakkai (SG) in times of crisis and growing uncertainty, and explores how Soka Gakkai members and organizations responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as a globally attuned civil society network...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The journal of CESNUR
Main Author: Fisker-Nielsen, Anne Mette
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2020]
In:The journal of CESNUR
Year: 2020, Volume: 4, Issue: 4, Pages: 25-48
Further subjects:B Buddhism and COVID-19
B Soka Gakkai
B Religion and COVID-19
B Religion and COVID-19 in Japan
B Soka Gakkai and COVID-19
Online Access: Volltext (Kostenfrei)
Description
Summary:This paper presents a discussion based on research into what Buddhist practice looks like in Soka Gakkai (SG) in times of crisis and growing uncertainty, and explores how Soka Gakkai members and organizations responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as a globally attuned civil society network. The paper is based on reviews of organizational responses, the examination of Soka Gakkai news materials published in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular articles published in the Seikyo Shimbun, as well as members’ experiences, observations, and informal conversations, particularly with youth members in Japan and overseas, from around mid-February to mid-June 2020. From this preliminary research, two underlying themes emerged: 1) the SG felt the need to respond practically and with urgency as a global civil society network; and 2) the SG felt the need to tackle fear as an equally significant issue, to facilitate the most appropriate response to the crisis from the perspective of Nichiren Buddhism as practiced in Soka Gakkai. This article is an exploration into the actual mode of hope and future-making in times of crisis in Soka Gakkai, as an organization, and as displayed in practical social situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ISSN:2532-2990
Contains:Enthalten in: The journal of CESNUR
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.26338/tjoc.2020.4.4.2