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Lutherans in Need of Self‐Discipline: Japanese 

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Abstract:  Lutherans have a reputation for not attending well to the life of sanctification. Whether or not this is deserved, it is clear that all believers should make greater efforts to live in conformity with the will of God. Distinctly lacking in the Lutheran heritage, however, are disciplines of self‐cultivation. Such methods could play a larger role in the spiritual lives of believers, not for the sake of one's own salvation, but for the benefit of others. With that in mind, this article considers the practice of shugyō in Japanese Buddhism. This concept of self‐cultivation can form a model for how we in the West might seek to attend to our own maturing in the Christian life, attending to a greater stewardship of our bodies and minds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Jeffrey K. Mann is Associate Professor of Religion and Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Susquehanna University. His primary academic research is in Lutheran theology, which he combines here with recent interest in Japanese Buddhism.

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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