I thought the following comparison of Kierkegaard's understanding of
fiath with that of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism was quite interesting.
(A good book on this concept in Shinran is "Tariki", by the Japanese
author Hiroyuki Itsuki.)
Human insufficiency in Shinran and Kierkegaard
by Joel R. Smith
Vol. 6 No. 2 Jul.1996
Copyright by Carfax Publishing Company
ABSTRACT Shinran (1173-1263), the founder of the Jodoshinshu of
Pure Land Buddhism, and Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the Danish
Christian existentialism, belong to very different eras, cultures, and
religious traditions. Yet there are striking similarities between
religious philosophies, especially in how both offer theistic views
emphasising faith and grace that see the person as radically
to attain complete self-transformation. Both claim that the human
so radically insufficient that no one can attain Buddhist
Christian salvation through his or her own power, but only through
power. I will argue against some commentators that although the Deity
accepts and transforms this insufficiency, even the power of the
not eradicate human insufficiency in this life for the person of
will also argue that Shinran and Kierkegaard differ significantly
role of human freedom in faith, and that this difference expresses the
central difference between Mahayana Buddhism and Christianity
relationship between the person and the Deity.
Japanese Pure Land Buddhism before Shinran was an 'easy path' that
that the nembutsu or recitation of the name of Amida Buddha
(Namu-amida-butsu) was the basis for enlightenment.  Pure Land
Shinran had rejected the difficult, aristocratic, and often esoteric
to enlightenment offered by the Buddhist schools of Tendai, Shingon
in order to develop a path open to every person in the degenerate age
as mappo.  The Pure Land path was especially appealing during the
upheavals of the Kamakura period.  But Pure Land before Shinran was
ambiguous about the extent to which the nembutsu involved self-power
(jiriki) and Other-power (tariki), and it seems to have combined both
self-power and Other-power.  Shinran saw that although reciting
name relied on the compassionate Other-power of Amida, nembutsu
still retained vestiges of self-power. Even when it avoided rote
with little regard for one's inner quality of mind, mindful reciting
Amida's name was still a practice done by the aspirant to merit birth
the Pure Land. Shinran sought to remove these vestiges of self-power
order to rely completely on Amida's Other-power. Self-power (jiriki)
be completely replaced by Other-power (tariki). Even mindful
Amida's name could not bring enlightenment.
Shinran drew out the logical implications of the earlier Pure Land
on the egoistic passions in each person, as well as his own
his futile efforts during 20 years of practice in the Tendai sect to
overcome his passions to attain enlightenment.  Profound
self-reflection is crucial to realise the futility of one's efforts.
From the beginning sentient beings, who are filled with blind
passions, lack a mind true and real, a heart of purity, for they
possessed of defilements, evil, and wrong views. 
Thus grace and shinjin (true entrusting or 'faith'),  rather than
'good works' of some spiritual practice, is the basis for
Buddhism generally, and perhaps even in earlier Pure Land sects,
essential, but was a choice or act of will.  For Shinran, however,
shinjin is not a human act of will but is completely the activity of
The radical difference between human self-power and Buddha's Other-
between blind passions and enlightenment, between samsara and nirvana,
cannot be bridged by humans but only by Amida Buddha. Shinran is quite
explicit: 'The nembutsu is not a self-power practice performed by
beings or sages,'  and it is Amida, not the devotee, who directs
transfers merit. A person's recitation of Amida's name is not a
through human self-power to attain enlightenment for oneself, but a
practice performed by Amida that is directed to and heard by all
. . . the name of Amida is no longer the merely vocal element in
practice of recitation, but it is the mysterious activity of
Buddha within the minds of men. 
Shinran retains human recitation of Amida's name not as a means to
enlightenment but as an expression of gratitude to Amida  : 'Only
constantly reciting the Tathagata's name/ Can we repay the grace of
of great compassion.'  We mysteriously say Amida's name when given
shinjin,  and recitation is a natural manifestation of shinjin.
In this life, one does not attain enlightenment when shinjin is
but one does attain 'entrance into the company of the truly assured'
'non-retrogression'.  When Amida confers shinjin, are our evil
eradicated in this life before we attain the Pure Land at death?
Alicia Matsunaga claim our insufficiency is eradicated:
The individual who has received the benefits of the Other-power
the three qualities of mind equivalent to the mind of Amida,
henceforth acts in a wholly natural or spontaneous (jinen)
completely free from egotistical self-awareness and in compete
with Dharma. All his actions are aimed at leading others to
realization, or to assist them in listening to the voice of
Sometimes Shinran himself seems to suggest that blind passions are
completely eradicated in this life:
. . . virtues quickly and rapidly become perfectly full in the
of one who entrusts oneself to them . . . the vast treasure of
completely fills them. . . . 
Shinjin does, indeed, transform people's lives, Shinran says:
In people who have long heard the Buddha's Name and the nembutsu,
surely there are signs of rejecting the evil in themselves . . .
the true and real mind is made to arise in us, how can we remain
Yet Shinran is quite explicit that blind passions are not eradicated
Our desires are countless, and anger, wrath, jealousy, and envy
overwhelming, arising without pause; to the very last moment of
[emphasis added] they do not cease, or disappear, or exhaust
What happens to our blind passions after shinjin but before death is a
difficult and ultimately paradoxical point in Shinran. After shinjin
we still possess blind passions,  and are still bound by karma,
this karma is transformed.  In perhaps his most explicit statement
about this, Shinran says:
. . . without the practicer's calculating in any way whatsoever,
his past, present, and future evil karma is transformed into
be transformed means that evil karma, without being nullified or
eradicated [emphasis added], is made into good. 
The Matsunagas seem wrong to emphasise so strongly a person's
and altruism after shinjin. Whatever Shinran means by karmic passions
'transformed into good', he also clearly holds that they are not
in this life but continue until one is born in the Pure Land at death.
Indeed, Shinran's central claim, however paradoxical, is that when
confers shinjin, we are assured of enlightenment even as our blind
remain, although they are somehow transformed into good:
When such shackled foolish beings . . . wholly entrust
the Name . . . then while burdened as they are with blind
[emphasis added], they attain the supreme nirvana. 
In my opinion, Yoshifuma Ueda offers the best interpretation of
paradoxical view. He takes Shinran to be offering his version of the
Mahayana paradox that samsara and nirvana are both different and not
different. A person, as constituted by blind passions, remains
samsaric ignorance until death and as such is starkly different from
enlightenment and Amida's wisdom-compassion. In this sense, blind
are never completely 'nullified or eradicated' in this life. On the
hand, in shinjin Amida transfers his qualities of mind to us; 
are pervaded by Amida's wisdom-compassion, our blind passions are
'transformed into good' without being eradicated. Since we still
passions, we are not yet enlightened, but our eventual enlightenment
settled.  So blind passion and enlightenment, the human person and
Amida Buddha, samsara and nirvana stand in stark opposition and at
time are one.  While this remains paradoxical in Shinran's
is the mystery that is at the core of all Mahayana thought.
Jinen, perhaps Shinran's most important idea after shinjin, brings
idea of our non-duality with Amida in shinjin and leads to the idea of
sunyata. Jinen means what happens of itself, naturally, spontaneously:
'Dharmicness' . . . indicates the nature of jinen. Dharmicness
expresses the natural working (jinen) in the life of the person
realizes shinjin and says the Name once. 
Although conceived personally, Amida is also conceived impersonally as
Infinite Life (symbolized as Amitayus) and Infinite Light (symbolized
Amitabha), or compassion and wisdom, the active and passive causes,
respectively, for the arising of shinjin.  Amida's Light
reality equally and without preference:
Wisdom's light is infinite
Of all finite beings, there are none
That light have not received
Let us take refuge in the True Light. 
Amida as Light is formless sunyata (emptiness or suchness), Shinran
Thus appearing in the form of light called 'Tathagata of
light filling the ten quarters', [Amida] is without color and
form, that is, identical with the dharma-body as suchness. . . .
This explains why Amida's granting of shinjin does not seem to include
either judgement or forgiveness.  As Infinite Light, Amida's
compassionate activity is more like an impersonal force that radiates
every comer of the universe rather than being personally directed
an individual person. It is more like the sun shining than a person
a gift. 
Ironically, with Shinran's deepening of Pure Land's awareness of human
insufficiency, Shinran transformed Pure Land from an 'easy path' to
most difficult of paths, in light of our egoistic tendency to engage
self-power. Indeed, enlightenment becomes so difficult that there is
recourse other than Amida's saving power, and even shinjin is Amida's
not ours. Shinran developed Pure Land thought in a subtle way to draw
the Mahayana implications of the quest to overcome ego and realise
enlightenment. If all of our practice is tainted by egoistic passion,
can we overcome ego by our own efforts? For Shinran, this paradox of
self-transformation can only be resolved by replacing all forms of
self-power, including nembutsu, with the Other-power of Amida's
compassionate activity. Amida confers the shinjin that assures us
the Pure Land and in this life transforms our blind passions without
eradicating them. Amida confers shinjin, and we cannot reject it
only Amida's Other-power and no human activity is involved in
So for Shinran, 'no selfworking is true working.' 
Kierkegaard's Lutheran Protestantism also emphasises salvation through
faith and grace rather than 'good works'. Kierkegaard's view of the
of becoming an authentic self unifies his diverse authorship and its
bewildering array of personae who speak with subtle variations of
 In drawing attention to what it means to be a Christian,
is primarily concerned with the structure, transformation, and
transcendence of the self. His three spheres of existence--the
the ethical, and the religious--portray self-transformation in terms
underlying ontological structure of selfhood which culminates in
faith. Kierkegaard describes the self in terms of relations, not in
of substance. The self is not a permanent, enduring substance which
underlies changing attributes and provides self-continuity and
self-identity. Rather, the self is a relational structure, and it is a
multi-dimensional, self-relational structure.  Despair and faith
the two basic modes of self-relational activity.  Despair is not
a mood or state of mind, but is a disrelation in the self-relational
The task of becoming a self is the task of relating to oneself so as
overcome despair or inward disrelation. Stated most simply, the task
become oneself before God. In aesthetic existence, the self does not
up or avow this task of relating to itself properly. It does not
responsibility for becoming who it really is, so aesthetic existence
despair. In ethical existence, the self does accept the task of
itself. In ethical existence, self-relational activity seeks to choose
itself authentically through concrete choices and commitments
marriage, vocation, and life style.  However, ethical existence
not appropriate its insufficiency to achieve its task of overcoming
In religious existence, self-relational activity begins to avow its
insufficiency to overcome despair, and Kierkegaard describes two
religious existence. Religiousness A, or immanent religiousness,
the deepest appropriation of human insufficiency that is possible by
selfs activity alone.  In succeeding movements of resignation,
suffering, dying away from self, and the consciousness of guilt, the
experiences itself as insufficient to accomplish this task. The
transformation from Religiousness A to Religiousness B or the
religiousness of Christianity, is the transformation from
guilt-consciousness to sin-consciousness.  Consciousness that
insufficiency is sin can occur only in response to God's revelation in
Jesus Christ. The self is even unable to become conscious of the
its own insufficiency by itself. Sin is a more-than-human conception
human insufficiency. The vicious. circle of self-relational activity
be broken by a disclosure dear comes from outside. In sin-
human insufficiency exists before God.
Consciousness of sin is a response to God's revelation and so is the
initial movement of faith. Consciousness of the forgiveness of sin is
culminating movement of faith. Forgiveness is Christianity's leniency
follows upon the severity of sin-consciousness. In forgiving sin, God
accepts the self in its insufficiency, allowing it as insufficient to
in a loving relationship with God. God's acceptance of insufficiency
the self to accept its insufficiency. In Christian faith, the self is
itself as insufficient before God and itself for the first time. Only
Christian faith can the self fully live its insufficiency, and so
itself, through obedience and worship before God. Through the
of sin, God and self are reconciled to one another and the self is
reconciled with its insufficiency. Divine sufficiency and human
insufficiency attain reconciliation.
Some commentators  argue that the self attains realisation and
fulfillment in existence through Christian faith. This interpretation
faith as a kind of self-fulfillment in which human insufficiency is
eradicated by God's saving activity. This interpretation fails to
distinguish between self-fulfillment and reconciliation. The self
indeed, attain reconciliation with God and itself in that God accepts
self in its insufficiency. Forgiveness means that God lovingly
self as insufficient, but it does not mean that God eradicates this
insufficiency. In faith, human insufficiency remains, but it is no
something which separates the self from God. In fact, human
is what allows God to express divine love for the self most deeply.
gracious acceptance of the self as a sinner is God's most
paradoxical gift to the self, and it is possible only in the context
The reconciliation which occurs in faith must preserve the essential
of both God and self. Kierkegaard repeatedly emphasises the absolute
qualitative difference between the self and God. The distinction
divine sufficiency and human insufficiency is the basic expression
qualitative difference. If this were removed in faith, the self would
longer be radically different from God in this crucial respect. Since
insufficiency characterises the very structure of the self, its
would essentially alter the self, and the self in faith would lose
continuity with the self before faith. Kierkegaard holds that there
inverse resemblance  between the self and God. Human
divine sufficiency constitute this inverse resemblance. The self's
insufficiency is the root of the self's need to be accepted by God in
to accept its own insufficiency and to live it fully. The self needs
forgiveness in order to be itself as insufficient. Human need and
compassion are a mutual fit.
God's activity or forgiveness is primary in faith, in that the self is
unable to forgive itself. Yet the self can take offence at this and
faith by rejecting this consciousness of forgiveness. Although God's
activity is primary in faith, the sews freedom is preserved in that
reject God's forgiveness. Kierkegaard emphasises that there is always
possibility of taking offence at divine forgiveness; offence is the
opposite of faith and is the source of the continual fear and
that offence will destroy faith:
. . . fear thyself, fear what can kill faith. . . Fear and
for faith is contained in a fragile earthen vessel, in the
of offence. Blessed is he who is not offended in Him but
Kierkegaard's view, I claim, preserves the radical difference between
human and divine natures, while allowing a relationship to occur
them. This relationship is one in which the self's insufficiency is
reconciled with God and itself, rather than one in which
eradicated and self-fulfillment occurs. The relationship of faith
occur in spite of human insufficiency but in the face of and by way
insufficiency. For Kierkegaard, the self's need for God, which is
human insufficiency, becomes the way to God. Human insufficiency and
sufficiency remain opposites and remain true to their own natures.
Christian faith they are related in a loving way by virtue of their
difference. When transformed by faith, our human need of God is our
I have argued that in spite of some interpretations to the contrary,
Shinran and Kierkegaard deny that human insufficiency is eradicated
life by either human or divine power. Divine compassion is so
it extends itself to our evil nature and accepts us as we are in our
insufficiency. While this does not eradicate our insufficiency or
self-fulfillment, it does transform our lives so we can, for the first
time, accept ourselves as we truly are as insufficient. Both hold
remain insufficient in this life and continue to commit evil, yet once
faith occurs, the person's life is transformed so our evil nature,
remaining evil in this life, is accepted by God and we can anticipate
enlightenment or salvation after death. Both thinkers stress that
during this life and enlightenment or salvation after death are
dependent upon the Deity. 48] Obviously Shinran affirms Amida Buddha
Buddha-nature as ultimate while Kierkegaard affirms Jesus Christ and
ultimate. Shinran and Kierkegaard also differ significantly in the
human freedom in faith. Shinran holds that shinjin assures one of
enlightenment after death and that one will not retrogress from this,
though one will continue to do evil. It seems that for Shinran shinjin
cannot be rejected, since it is completely the work of Amida's Other-
and involves no human activity.  In contrast, Kierkegaard has a
sense of the person's freedom to reject or overturn faith and fall
from God: ' . . . fear thyself, fear what can kill faith'. 
Amida causes the divine qualities of mind to pervade the human mind in
shinjin, and because one cannot reject shinjin, Shinran seems to deny
freedom. If a person is not free to reject shinjin, then the person's
nature as finite and free seems to be eradicated by Amida so there is
radical loss of continuity between who the person is before and after
shinjin. While shinjin guarantees salvation later at death in a way
Kierkegaard's faith cannot, it also abrogates our human nature so
insufficiency is replaced by Amida's divine qualities. In contrast,
Kierkegaard preserves the continuity of freedom, and thus the person's
identity, before and during faith.
How might Shinran reply to this Kierkegaard criticism? Shinran holds
person receives only shinjin and not enlightenment in this life. To
preserve the finite continuity of human nature in this life, he
that our evil passions are merely transformed by shinjin and
or eradicated' until death. But because he affirms non-retrogression
guarantees enlightenment after death, he denies freedom and cannot
sense of his claim that evil passions continue after we receive
mind in shinjin.  At best he would seem to posit a dual self, one
receives Amida's qualities and cannot reject shinjin, and another
continues to commit evil out of free will. How these two aspects co-
in one unitary self remains unexplained.
An analogous problem occurs in any Mahayana view that claims that
enlightenment occurs in this life; for how can a person be both
thus subject to karma, and yet enlightened and beyond karma? While
avoids this somewhat by holding that enlightenment occurs only after
he replicates the problem in that the shinjin that Amida confers
rejected. The basic problem is one that belongs to Mahayana and not
uniquely to Shinran, but it is a problem that Kierkegaard carefully
Kierkegaard preserves the selfs freedom in faith, which underscores
than eradicates the selfs insufficiency, preserves the difference
God and the self, and preserves the continuity of the self's identity
before and after faith.
However, Shinran might reply, as any Mahayana thinker would, that
Christianity's error is precisely in dualistically affirming the
qualitative difference between a person and the Deity by insisting
true human freedom is a self-power which is different from the Deity's
power. Instead, true freedom is when Amida's power pervades a person's
mind, infusing the mind with Amida's qualities, so that the person
Amida. As Ueda puts it:
The fundamental difference between shinjin and [Christian] faith
that while the concept of faith stands on the duality of God
and man (created), shinjin is the oneness of Buddha and man, or
becoming a buddha. 
Shinran's notion of jinen--of things in shinjin happening
naturally, and of themselves--conveys the Mahayana non-duality
person and Buddha that is absent in Kierkegaard's Christianity.
Kierkegaard's emphasis on the resemblance between God and humans as
inverse--human insufficiency inversely resembles divine
omnipotence--underscores the Christian incommensurability between God
one side and the world and humans on the other. Kierkegaard's
judgment and forgiveness adds to this incommensurability a strong
God as personal. Shinran, in contrast, while theistic, affirms a
non-duality between Buddha and the world: 'plants, trees, and land all
attain Buddhahood'.  Influenced by Taoism and Shinto, perhaps, and
certainly by Kukai's Shingon view at least indirectly, Shinran
more continuity between humans and the Deity in shinjin, a continuity
between humanity and divinity that Kierkegaard and traditional
would reject as idolatrous.
This continuity is not a simple unity or non-duality, for Shinran
the Mahayana paradox that Buddha and the person are 'one and yet two,
and yet one'.  When shinjin is conferred, 'oneness with the
mind is actualized . . . without nullifying or eradicating his
. . . '.  While the person is different from Amida, the person is
not different from Amida. For Shinran, Kierkegaard and Christianity
simplistically emphasise the duality and ignore the oneness. Yet
does not simply reverse the emphasis in favour of unity but affirms
unity and difference. True freedom, then, would not simply be the
to continue to do evil as an assertion of self-power against Amida,
also for action to arise out of Amida's qualities that are now one's
that this evil is immediately and paradoxically transformed into
Unfailingly the ice of blind passions melts
And immediately becomes the water of enlightenment . . .
The more ice, the more water;
The more hindrances, the more virtues. 
For Shinran, evil passions remain and are not eradicated, but they are
transformed, paradoxically, into good even as they remain evil. This
Shinran's version of the Mahayana identification of samsara and
humans and Buddha, and it stands in sharp contrast to the Christian
emphasis on the qualitative difference between God and the world as
Shinran and Kierkegaard offer a radical critique of their respective
traditions and take us deep into the labyrinth of human
are sensitive to the danger of retaining subtle traces of human
and go further than most Buddhist and Christian thinkers in
such vestiges. For Shinran, this means giving up the efficacy of all
spiritual practices and self-power, including nembutsu, so that
tariki completely replaces human jiriki: no selfworking is true
For Kierkegaard it means avowing insufficiency more and more deeply
one realises that the self can do nothing by itself, and that our
God is our highest perfection. Both take seriously the paradox of
self-transformation: if all of our efforts are tainted by egoistic
passions, then we cannot overcome our evil through our own efforts. As
Kierkegaard puts it:
. . . can a man not overcome himself in his own strength? . . .
can I be stronger than myself? . . . no man was ever stronger
. . . one understands that a man can do absolutely nothing of
But in and with this understanding God is immediately present.
In spite of striking similarities, however, Shinran and Kierkegaard
on two subtle but crucial points. First, Kierkegaard's notion of faith
preserves and even accentuates the qualitative difference between God
one side and humans and the world on the other, while Shinran retains
Mahayana view of the non-duality of samsara and nirvana, including the
Buddha-nature of humanity, and so he retains a strong sense of the
impersonality and immanence of Amida's activity. This difference is
difficult to adjudicate since it refers to the nature of ultimate
Shinran's takes a 'middle way' in that he affirms, albeit
that the person and Buddha are 'one and yet two, two and yet one',
Kierkegaard's Christianity is firmly dualistic.
Second, and rooted in the first difference, while both emphasise
the primacy of the Deity's activity in faith, Shinran's view of faith
circumscribes human freedom while Kierkegaard's view preserves and
underscores human freedom. At first Kierkegaard's view seems more
For Kierkegaard, the sense of freedom and finitude that we have before
faith occurs is not abrogated after faith occurs, so there is no
loss of continuity between who we were before faith and who we are
faith. Shinran, with his notion of non-retrogression, denies the
of human freedom more than Kierkegaard does since one cannot reject
Kierkegaard retains traces of self-power in his conception of what
human freedom is. While true freedom involves awareness of our radical
insufficiency and our radical dependency on God, traces of self-power
remain in that a person is still free to lose faith. For Shinran, in
true freedom of shinjin, one does not retain any self-power that could
reject faith, but enough self-power remains so our evil passions are
completely eradicated until death. Again, Shinran takes a paradoxical
'middle way' that affirms that after shinjin, a person is not free to
reject shinjin, yet is free to do evil actions. Shinran does retain a
of self-power in that a person still experiences evil passions and
them, but this self-power does not extend to the freedom to reject
a power which Kierkegaard affirms. While one does not attain
in this life, one does receive Amida's qualities of mind so that one
assured of enlightenment after death and so that in this life
the 'ice' of
one's evil actions 'melts' to become the 'waters' of Buddha's virtues.
Different conceptions of human freedom are involved, rooted in
conceptions of the relationship between the person and the Deity.
Kierkegaard affirms the Christian emphasis on individuality, so that
in faith when human insufficiency is avowed, true freedom is
include a person's freedom to choose to reject faith. True freedom in
life means that the person of faith remains an individual who is
qualitatively different from God. The person of faith does not become
in any sense whatsoever; indeed, the person finally becomes fully
the qualitative difference between humans and God and is forgiven and
by God in a way that preserves this very difference.
True freedom in this life for Shinran, however, preserves some
choice to do evil, but also locates true freedom in becoming Buddha,
is, in being infused with Amida's qualities. To a significant extent
shinjin, a person ceases to be an individual in that, through Amida's
power, the person's Buddha-nature is actualised, though not
highest freedom one can attain in this life is when, as an
still freely chooses to act on one's evil passions, yet also
one's individuality in that Amida infuses a person's mind with
qualities of mind. Perhaps when enlightenment occurs after death, all
traces of individuality disappear. Be that as it may, in this life
freedom is approached when individual freedom of choice is replaced
extent by the activity of Amida Buddha.
I have argued that in spite of some interpretations to the contrary,
Shinran and Kierkegaard deny that human insufficiency is completely
eradicated in this life by either human or divine power. However,
faith and grace in this life, divine compassion accepts our
and transform us so our evil nature, while remaining evil in this
accepted by the Deity, and we can anticipate enlightenment or
after death. I have argued that both thinkers preserve human freedom
choice, and therefore self-power, in faith, although Kierkegaard does
more than Shinran. Their difference regarding how much freedom of
remains in faith is rooted in their differing conceptions of true
with Kierkegaard affirming a more individualistic conception of true
freedom in order to preserve traditional Christianity's qualitative
difference between God and the person. In contrast, Shinran affirms
non-duality between the person and Amida Buddha, while still
least in this life, significant difference between them: 'one and yet
two and yet one'. In spite of their deep similarities concerning
grace, and human insufficiency, Shinran and Kierkegaard differ
significantly regarding human freedom and the relationship between the
person and the Deity, reflecting their different roots in Mahayana
and Protestant Christianity.
 For a short version of the history of Pure Land Buddhism, see
ALFRED (1965) Shinran's Gospel of Pure Grace (Tucson, AZ, The
Arizona Press) pp. 7-25; for a more detailed history, see MATSUNAGA,
& ALICIA (1976) Foundations of Japanese Buddhism, Vol. II, The Mass
Movement (Kamakura & Muromachi Periods) (Los Angeles-Tokyo, Buddhist
 MATSUNAGA et al., ibid., p. 5.
 Ibid., pp. 6-7.
 UEDA, YOSHIFUMI & HIROTA, DENNIS (1989) Shinran: An Introduction
Thought (Kyoto, Hongwanji International Center) p. 137; BLOOM,
 MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 97.
 Ibid., p. 97; UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., pp. 234-235.
 UEDA & HIROTA, ibid., p. 186.
 Yoshifumi Ueda discusses why 'faith' should not be used to
shinjin in UEDA, YOSHIFUMI (1981) 'Response to Thomas P. Kasulis'
Letters of Shinran,' in: Philosophy East and West, 31, pp. 507-512.
 BLOOM, op. cit., p. 47; MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 95.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 145.
 BLOOM, op.cit., p. 70.
 Ibid,, pp. 54-55.
 Ibid., p. 69.
 Ibid., p. 74.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 148.
 Ibid., p. 145.
 BLOOM, op.cit., p. 61.
 MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 103.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., pp. 270-271.
 Ibid., p. 256.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 165.
 Ibid., p. 151.
 Ibid., p. 165.
 Ibid., pp. 237-238.
 Ibid., p. 235.
 Ibid., pp. 155, 157; MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 99.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 151.
 Ibid., p. 151.
 Ibid., p. 244.
 MATSUNAGA, op.cit., p. 51.
 BLOOM, op.cit., p. 57.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 266.
 MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 102.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., p. 265.
 MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., p. 102.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., pp. 206, 219, 272.
 I do not have the space to discuss the problem of the
this paper, I will attribute to Kierkegaard points made by various
pseudonyms. While Kierkegaard's view is not identical to a
author's view, the points that I discuss are part of Kierkegaard's own
view, as I have argued in detail in SMITH, JOEL R. (1977) The
selfhood in the works of Soren Kierkegaard (Ph.D. Diss., Vanderbilt
 KIERKEGAARD, SOREN (1980) in: H. V. HONG & E. H. HONG (Ed. &
The Sickness unto Death, (Princeton, Princeton University Press),
especially pp. 13-42.
 Ibid., especially pp. 42-131.
 Regarding aesthetic and ethical existence, see KIERKEGAARD, SOEN
(1987) in: V. HONG & E. H. HONG (Ed. & Trans.) Either/Or: Part I & II
(Princeton, Princeton University Press), especially Part II where
William characterises aesthetic existence as despair while he argues
the validity of ethical existence.
 KIERKEGAARD, SOREN (1992) in: E. V. HONG & E. H. HONG (Ed. &
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments,
Princeton University Press) pp. 257-258.
 Regarding Religiousness A, see KIERKEGAARD, ibid., pp. 385-561.
 Regarding Religiousness B, see KIERKEGAARD, ibid., pp. 555-586;
also discussed in KIERKEGAARD, op.cit., note 38, pp. 75-131.
 For example, see ELROD, JOHN W. (1975) Being and Existence in
Kierkegaard's Pseudonymous Works (Princeton, Princeton University
especially pp. 209, 222, 234, 245; a detailed critique of Elrod can be
found in SMITH, op.cit., note 37, pp. 141-163.
 KIERKEGAARD, SOREN (1971) in: W. LOWRIE (Trans.) Christian
and The Lilies of the Field and the Birds of the Air and Three
at the Communion on Fridays, (Princeton; Princeton University Press)
300; also see pp. 132-137.
 KIERKEGAARD, SOREN (1944) in: W. LOWRIE (Trans.) Training in
Christianity (Princeton, Princeton University Press) p. 80.
 KIERKEGAARD, SOREN (1958) Man's need of God constitutes his
perfection in: P. L. HOLMER (Ed.) Edifying Discourses: A Selection,
York, Harper & Row) pp. 136-176.
 Kierkegaard's view resembles the views of Martin Luther and Karl
in the emphasis on human insufficiency, faith, and grace. For a
of Martin Luther and Shinran, see INGRAM, PAUL O. (1971) Shinran
Martin Luther: a soteriological comparison, Journal of the American
of Religion, 39, December, pp. 430-447. For a discussion of Karl
comments on Pure Land Buddhism, see WALDROP, CHARLES T. (1987) Karl
and Pure Land Buddhism, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 24:4, Fall, pp.
 MATSUNAGA et al., op.cit., note 1, p. 102.
 KIERKEGAARD, op.cit., note 46, p. 80.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., note 4, p. 154.
 UEDA, op.cit., note 8, p. 507.
 UEDA & HIROTA, op.cit., note 4, p. 265.
 UEDA, op.cit., note 8, p. 510.
 Ibid., pp. 510-511.
 UEDA & HIROTA, Op.cit., note 4, p. 155.
 KIERKEGAARD, op.cit., note 47, pp. 167-168.
 Ibid., p. 173.