The Mindful Cranks

Where using your mind is not necessarily a bad thing

Episode 9 - Brian Victoria: Zen at War

Brian Daizen Victoria is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a 1961 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Sōtō Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University in Tokyo, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Religious Studies at Temple University.

From 2005 to 2013 Brian was a professor of Japanese Studies and director of the AEA “Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program” at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH. Currently he is a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan where he is writing a book tentatively entitled: Zen Terrorism in 1930s Japan. Brian is a fully ordained Buddhist priest in the Sōtō Zen sect.

In this episode Brian Victoria, author of Zen at War, discusses how Buddhism, and Japanese Zen in particular, have a long history of violence. From Japanese kamikaze pilots in World War II to Corporate Zen training of "industrial warriors," Brian Victoria expounds on the dangers and risks of religion when it serves the powers of nationalism and the state.

For additional articles on Buddhism and violence and critiques of Zen, click here.


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