The Religious Philosophy of Nishitani Keiji

Encounter With Emptiness

Taitetsu Unno, ed.

Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1989.

Available as a Chisokudō reprint, 2019

This collection is based on an international conference held at Smith College in April 1984. In it representative scholars Buddhist and Christian—including Abe Masao, Jan Van Bragt, Langdon Gilkey, Thomas Altizer, Gordon Kaufman, Sten Stenson, Steven Rockefeller, Robert Thurman, and Thomas Kasulis—grapple with the implications of Nishitani’s thinking for the modern world, particularly as it relates to the question of God, problems of science and ethics, the meaning of history, and the understanding of Buddhism.

A great deal of the attractiveness of Nishitani stems from the unique synthesis of personality and thought which he embodies…. While such a synthesis of religion and philosophy, of personality and thought, is truly rare even in contemporary East Asia, we find Nishitani personifying the traditional Asian legacy of knowing-as-becoming which cannot help but appeal to the whole person, both intellectual and affective. “Nishitani’s is a voice coming from outside the Western tradition to critically discuss Western religious and philosophical thinkers and in the process offer new insight into their contributions. Always grounding his analysis in the real concerns affecting the contemporary situation, …Nishitani invites us all, practitioners as well as scholars, to explore the meaning of what we are doing and saying.

from the Editor’s Introduction