The Promise of a Sacred World: Shinran’s Teaching of Other Power


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Coming August 2022

Shinran (1173–1263) is one of the most important thinkers of Japanese Buddhist history and is regarded as the founder of its largest sect, the True Pure Land School (Jodo Shinshu). His teaching of ‘Other Power’ is a deep meditation on the place of human will and receptivity in spiritual practice and on the path towards liberation.

Nagapriya gives a contemporary audience access to Shinran’s thirteenth-century religious perspective. He offers close readings of Shinran’s writings, places him in the context of his imagined Pure Land lineage, and brings alive Shinran’s perspective on ‘Other Power’ as embodied in the myth of Amida Buddha and the Pure Land scriptures. Stimulating greater interest in Shinran and ‘Other Power’, this book gives new ways to think about non-secular contemporary Buddhism.


‘Nagapriya not only accurately captures the heart of Shinran’s spirituality and teachings, but conveys it in ways that are novel and easy to understand. Such is the quality and tenor of this book, which I believe will contribute enormously to the accurate presentation of Shinran’s teaching of Other Power.’ – Kenneth K. Tanaka, Professor Emeritus, Musashino University, Tokyo; Past President, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies; author of The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism Doctrine

‘Nagapriya offers one of the richest appreciations of Shinran to date. The book is an astonishing, highly poetic, magical, mystical, personal, emotional, and even confessional encounter with Shinran, which strikes a brilliantly fresh note. It should become a foundational stepping stone into a new era of engagement in the English-language world with this seminal Japanese thinker.’ – Galen Amstutz, Adjunct Instructor, Institute of Buddhist Studies/Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, USA

‘In order to understand Shinran, you need a guide, and Nagapriya is an excellent one. There were many times when I was so struck by an idea, a phrase, a truth, that I stopped reading, closed my eyes, and allowed it to reverberate through me. At those times I experienced faith, gratitude, and joy.’ – Ratnaguna, author of The Art of Reflection, and Great Faith, Great Wisdom