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Alfred Bloom’s life and work
This site includes Alfred Bloom’s biography, photos, online articles, bibliography, links, and more.
Alfred Bloom
Alfred  Bloom
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Biography of Alfred Bloom

Alfred Bloom is one of the world's foremost authorities on the study of Shin Buddhism. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, taught World Religions and Buddhism at the University of Oregon and the University of Hawaii. He was Dean at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, sponsored by the Buddhist Churches of America. Prof. Bloom is an ordained Shin priest.

About Dr. Bloom, the well known Buddhist magazine Tricycle: The Buddhist Review has said: “Bloom is widely regarded as one of the most important American figures of the past five decades in the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism.”

Prof. Bloom most recently edited The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching (vol 1), which is the first volume of a two-volume work. This book is an expertly compiled reader that lends itself to use in classroom settings, as well as for personal enjoyment. The second volume will be released in September of 2014. Earlier, Prof. Alfred Bloom also edited The Essential Shinran: A Buddhist Path of True Entrusting for World Wisdom, as well as Living in Amida’s Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism, a collection of articles on Shin Buddhism.

Books/DVDs containing the work of Alfred Bloom

Dr. Bloom's work appearing in World Wisdom books:


Alfred Bloom’s Writings Online
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2SubjectWW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
Written by Rev. Dr. Al Bloom and posted in its entirety on The Shin DharmaNet website, this book (in pdf format) is "a summary account of the development of Buddhism from India through its arising in East Asia and Tibet. It provides some background for the appearance of Shin Buddhism in Japan and hopefully will be helpful to those seeking an orientation to Buddhism and its teachings."
Streams of Tradition: Buddhism, East to WestShin DharmaNet websiteBloom, Alfred Buddhism
Select Bibliography for Further Reading on Shin BuddhismLiving in Amdia's Universal Vow: Essays in Shin BuddhismBloom, Alfred Buddhism
Shinran’s Life (1173-1262 C.E.) And LegacyThe Essential Shinran: A Buddhist Path of True EntrustingBloom, Alfred Buddhism
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Quotes on Alfred Bloom

“Bloom is widely regarded as one of the most important American figures of the past five decades in the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism.”
Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

Alfred Bloom’s Bibliography

Shinran’s Gospel of Pure Grace. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1965.

The Life of Shinran Shonin: The Journey to Self Acceptance. Leiden : Brill, 1968.

Indian and Far Eastern Religious Traditions, by Robert D. Baird and Alfred Bloom. New York : Harper & Row, 1972.

The Linguistic Shaping of Thought : A Study in the Impact of Language on Thinking in China and the West. Hillsdale, NJ : L. Erlbaum, 1981.

Tannisho: A Resource for Modern Living. Honolulu : Buddhist Study Center, 1981.

Shoshinge: The Heart of Shin Buddhism, text, Alfred Bloom ; translated by T. Nagatani & Ruth Tabrah. Honolulu, Hawaii : Buddhist Study Center Press, 1986.

Strategies for Modern Living: A Commentary with the Text of the Tannisho. Berkeley, CA : Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1992; with Gary Snyder, Heian International, 1993.

Living in Amida’s Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism, edited by Alfred Bloom.  Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, 2004.

The Essential Shinran : A Buddhist Path of True Entrusting,  compiled and edited by Alfred Bloom.  Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, 2007.

The Shin Buddhist Classical Tradition: A Reader in Pure Land Teaching, vol. 1,   edited by Alfred Bloom.  Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, 2013.


Online Resources about Alfred Bloom

Readers will find more about Dr. Alfred Bloom on the website The Shin DharmaNet. The site includes a full free self-study course on Shin, "Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture (in 25 chapters, with other learning materials), Streams of Tradition: Buddhism, East to We a book (in pdf format) that is a useful background to Buddhism in general, as well as Jodo Shinshu, and several other free full books in electronic format. There are also some excellent links, including one to the ongoing online project to make the full Collected Works of Shinran available on the internet. A section of the site is devoted to a listing of online articles by Dr. Bloom.
    The Shin DharmaNet site has a good glossary of Shin and Buddhist terms, and much more that is worthy of exploration.
There is a wonderful in-depth interview with the Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom on the website of Tricycle Magazine, one of the most important current magazines or journals on Buddhism. To preface the interview, Jeff Wilson, the interviewer, remarks that Dr. Bloom “is widely regarded as one of the most important American figures of the past five decades in the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism.” Readers will find that the interview reveals much about Bloom's personal relationship with Buddhism, but there are also many moments where Bloom takes the role of the consummate teacher, which he is. This fascinating piece can be found on the Tricycle website by clicking here.


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