Religious Care by Zen Buddhist Monks: A Response to Criticism of "Funeral Buddhism"

Rev Yozo Taniyama, Carl B. Becker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This study suggests that Buddhist priests' sutra chanting can heal troubled and bereaved people. Sutra chanting can include home visits with teatime chats, and memorial services to console the spirits of the departed. Japanese "Funeral Buddhism" has been criticized for its lack of social engagement, but home visits and memorial services may partly counter such criticisms. This study presents four cases collected through chain sampling of Zen monks using semistructured interviews in December 2012. Respondents were asked to reflect on helping laypeople along with their usual activities. Their temples are in suburban areas of cities affected by the 3.11 earthquake-tsunami disaster.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-60
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Buddhist care
    • bereavement
    • death and dying
    • grief
    • memorial services
    • religious care
    • social work

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Religious studies
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


    Dive into the research topics of 'Religious Care by Zen Buddhist Monks: A Response to Criticism of "Funeral Buddhism"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this