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Cleveland Festival to Feature Talk on Jodo Shinshu and LGBTQ+

Rev. Kaitlyn Kongō Mascher-Mace will present a talk at this year’s Cleveland Humanities Festival entitled “Universal Inclusivity in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism: LGBTQ+ and Jodo Shinshu” on Tuesday, April 5.

The theme of this year’s festival at Case Western University is “Discourse.”

Rev. Mascher-Mace is a Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-Ha priest and the Kaikyoshi-Ho Minister at the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple in Denver, Colorado. She is completing her master’s degree in Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California.

The exclusion of marginalized groups within society via the endorsement of religious bodies has been a topic of much attention but little change.

Doctrinal and qualitative statements are often used to define the behavior and expectations of followers of many different faiths. The unwelcoming and exclusive environment and discourse has led to a generalized rejection of religion by many people in marginalized communities.

Within schools of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, specifically Jodo Shinshu schools, universal acceptance of all people through acknowledgement of human nature provides inclusivity as a hallmark of Shinshu faith structure since the 13th century.

Non-discrimination within Jodo Shinshu is applied to all those who are differently abled, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of different socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds, providing universal acceptance.

The discussion will explore doctrine and the practice of universal acceptance and how it is applied today, in everyday life.

This event will be live streamed at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, April 5 at:

Registration requested for those attending in person.

To register, use the following link:

This event is co-sponsored by Cleveland Buddhist Temple, Buddhist Churches of America — Office of the Bishop, and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.


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