Buddhism does not recognize a concept of the existence of God (theos) such as found in Christianity, but here theos is not used to refer only to an absolute deity like the Christian god. By "theology," the author means the systematic delineation of the confrontation with the condition of the times while carrying on the engagement between the divine and oneself. Buddhism has spread widely down to the present and it manifests great diversity, in such forms as the neo-Buddhism of India, the Newar Buddhism of the Kathmandu basin, the Theravada Buddhism of Southeast Asia, Japanese Buddhism, and so on. But although Buddhism has taken various forms in different historical and cultural contexts, this does not necessarily mean that the construction of a "Buddhist theology" is insurmountably difficult. "Buddhist theological research" is a matter of researchers confronting contemporary conditions while based in Buddhist traditions belonging to diverse social and cultural conditions. In this way a theology addressing the historical and cultural context will be born.
About the Author:
Musashi Tachikawa, Prof. Emeritus, (Ph.D., Harward University; D. Litt., Nagoya University), formally taught at Nagoya University (1970-72), then worked as a Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan (1992-2003) and now is a Professor in Aichi Gakuin University, Japan. His publications include The Structure of the World of Udayana’s Realism ( Reidel, 1980), A Hindu Worship Service in Sixteen Steps (Bulleting of the National Museum of Ethnology, 8:1 (1983), An Introduction to the philosophy of Nagarjuna (tr. By R. Giedel, Motilal Banarsidass, 1977), Indian Fire Ritual (together withS. Bahulkar and M. Kolhatkar, Motilal Banarsidass, 2001) Five Hundred Buddhist Deities (together with M. Mori and S. Yamaguchi, Adroit, Delhi, 2000), and Angkor Mandal Collection (together with Lokesh Chandra and S. Watanabe, Vajra Publishers, Kathmandu, 2006).