Looking for texts on Nichren/Nichirenism that are scholarly in nature

Not looking for "religious" literature, particularly that associated with current schools that trace their origins to Nichiren/Nichirenism

Most of what I find available is either of this type or overviews found in larger anthologies

Interested in a deeper understanding of his beliefs, teachings, practices for critical analysis and comparative study


Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Nichiren's Critique of the Pure Land Teachings

I've located a brief article here that may be of some interest to others exporting this topic.

The author puts Nichiren's rejection of other practices as evil dharma, such as that of the Pure Land, into context: "Honen's followers singled out the Lotus Sutra for attack. According to the 1205 Kofukuji petition, some among them claimed that persons who embraced the Lotus Sutra would fall into hell, or that those who recited it in hopes of achieving birth in Amida's Pure Land - an extremely common practice - were guilty of slandering the Mahayana."

She also suggests this early criticism as "preparation of his polemics against esoteric teachings".
Also, "Nichiren's early opposition to the nenbutsu [sic] led him to reject features of the larger religious culture".

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Matsudo's Thesis

Here is a review of Yukio Matsudo's “Nichiren, Practitioner of the Lotus Sutra.”
This thesis contains:
"1. historical investigations of Nichiren’s life and thought in the context of the neo- Buddhist movements of the Kamakura period,
2. doctrinal studies on Nichiren’s teaching from the point of view of adherents of his religious heritage,
3. research on historical developments surrounding the communities of Nichi- ren’s followers after his death, and
4. philological studies on Nichiren’s writings, with special attention to questions of authenticity of certain works attributed to him."

The reviewer cites Matsudo's analysis of recent findings to "recast the figure of Nichiren in the context of his time," his addressing of "theoretical and practical aspects of Nichi- ren’s teaching from the point of view of adherents," and his accounting of the development of Nichiren Shoshu, calling this work "a noteworthy contribution in what can be called Nichiren Bud- dhist “systematic theology.”"