narhwal90 wrote:For my part the lack of attribution and the Nichiren sales pitch chapter moves my view of these books from "reference" to "guarded acceptance".
I do not think that we can accept any information contained in those books if we do not know the source, we cannot verify by ourselves and so we cannot know whether it is true or not. While this is true in general, it is even more in the case of Buddhist teachings.
Queequeg wrote:Back on Mark Porter's ichinensanzen.net, the author/study group made a few posts announcing the publication - this had to be some 5 years ago, or so.
The decision of Dai-Gohonzon's repudiation was taken many years before the official announcement. So, their announcement could be still related to Soka Gakkai's decision.
Moreover, five years ago or so, Soka Gakkai began to build Kosen-rufu Daiseido in Japan. This is the place where Soka Gakkai's members join the "Tozan" to the "new Soka (Dai-)Gohonzon". So, in order to bear this new doctrine ("new Soka (Dai-)Gohonzon"), Soka Gakkai needs to build a new documentary proof. As a confirmation of this, the only freely available chapter is the one on the Ita-Mandara (Dai-Gohonzon). This chapter has no verifiable references, as I already wrote about in details on this thread.
Finally, Nichiren's Coffeehouse was closed without any public reason. So, those books are the only Gohonzon gallery available, now.
Queequeg wrote:I thought the work was a labor of love and sincerity. It was not of a quality I would consider scholarly, but I don't think that is a reason to automatically dismiss the work. [..] I think its cool that people feel inspired enough to self-publish their work.
Let's put to one side the Ita-mandara subject for a moment, and speech more in general about Gohonzon. "The Nichiren Mandala Study Workshop" books spread the idea that, since all Gohonzon were inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin or they were faithfully reproduced by Nichiren Daishonin's ones, then all Gohonzon are the same. But this is not true at all. It is like saying that, since all the sutras were preached by Shakyamuni Buddha, all Sutras are the same.
Queequeg wrote:Takes guts to put yourself out there.
I agree, it could be a good point.
But, if someone is anonymous, what risk does he/she run?