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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


SYUKUR, Abdul. Theological debate among Buddhist sects in Indonesia. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2022, vol.78, n.4, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

Indonesian Buddhism has many sects such as Theravada, Mahayana, Buddhayana, Tantrayana, Maitreya, Tridharma, Kasogatan, Nichiren and so on. These sects historically come from the same source, the Buddha's teachings, but now they have differences in terms of doctrines and practices. This article analyses the differences with regard to their doctrines and beliefs in relation to the concept of God as required by the Indonesian Constitution. The discussion focuses on the debate among three sects, namely, Buddhayana, Theravada and Mahayana, about the name and nature of God and sources of doctrines on which they rely. The research was conducted in Jakarta and Bogor which focused mainly on the organisation of Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia (NSI). The data were collected through book and document study, observations and interviews with NSI followers. Additional data was performed in Bandung in 2019 by interviewing Buddhayana and Theravada adherents. The research finds that Buddhayana was successful in formulating the concept of God based on an old manuscript, Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan, so that Buddhism has met constitutional requirements and eventually has been accommodated as one of the official religions. However, it has been challenged by both Theravada and Nichiren, which rely on other sources of doctrines. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the theological discourse among Buddhist sects, which are rarely discussed by Buddhist scholars. Buddhist adherents in Indonesia not only have political responsibility as required by the Constitution, but also have a socio-ethical responsibility in terms of religious tolerance both within and outside other religions

Palabras clave : Religious sect; Buddhism; Monotheism; Nichiren Syosyu Indonesia; Indonesia.

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