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Praying for the Dead in Soka Gakkai International – U.K.

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Chapter Summary

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a movement that currently claims more than 12 million members world-wide and representation in 192 countries or territories. This chapter deals with the prayer for the dead, which forms part of the daily liturgy of Soka Gakkai. It opens with a quotation from Nichiren, the radical monk and teacher, who first promoted the exclusive practice of the Lotus Sutra on which Soka Gakkai is based. The analysis in the chapter is based on publications produced by Soka Gakkai and on fieldwork among Soka Gakkai Buddhists. Finally, the chapter argues that the prayer for the dead and indeed the wider liturgy in which the prayer is embedded, is used by members to do the 'griefwork' that helps them to renegotiate their relationships with deceased family members, friends, and other acquaintances and in this way maintain their bonds with them.

Keywords: griefwork; Lotus Sutra; Nichiren; prayer for the dead; Soka Gakkai International (SGI)



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