Paul Groner: "What Did It Mean to Be Ordained in Medieval Japanese Tendai?"
Japanese Tendai Buddhists are famous for not following traditional Buddhist monastic practices. In fact, they identified ordination with the realization of advanced states on the Buddhist path. At the same time, medieval Japanese exegetes were aware that they were different from more traditional Buddhist practitioners and were often preoccupied with explaining their position. I look at how they explained and defended their position.