Buddhist East Asia:   The Interplay of Religion, the Arts and Politics

An NEH Summer Institute ~ May 28 to June 22, 2018 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hosted by the Asian Studies Development Program

Buddhist East Asia:  The Interplay of Religion, The Arts and Politics
An NEH Summer Institute

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Presenting Faculty for the Institute

Institute Director:

Peter D. HERSHOCK is Director of the Asian Studies Development Program and Education Specialist at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and holds a Ph.D. in Asian and Comparative Philosophy from the University of Hawai‘i. His philosophical work makes use of Buddhist conceptual resources to address contemporary issues of global concern. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books on Buddhism, Asian philosophy and contemporary issues, including: Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Ch’an Buddhism (1996); Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age (1999); Chan Buddhism (2005); Buddhism in the Public Sphere: Reorienting Global Interdependence (2006); Changing Education: Leadership, Innovation and Development in a Globalizing Asia Pacific (edited, 2007); Educations and their Purposes: A Conversation among Cultures (edited, 2008); Valuing Diversity: Buddhist Reflection on Realizing a More Equitable Global Future (2012); Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction (2014); Value and Values: Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence (edited, 2015); and Philosophies of Place: An Intercultural Conversation (forthcoming).

Institute Presenters:

Robert E. BUSWELL Jr., Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, is the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at UCLA, and the founding director of the university’s Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. From 2009-2011, he served concurrently as founding director of the Dongguk Institute for Buddhist Studies Research (Pulgyo Haksurwŏn) at Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea. He is widely considered to be the premier Western scholar on Korean Buddhism and one of the top specialists on the East Asian Zen tradition. Buswell also served as editor-in-chief of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Macmillan Reference, 2004), and coauthor (with Donald S. Lopez, Jr.) of the 1.2-million word The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton, 2014), which won the Dartmouth Prize for top reference work of the year from the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association. In 2009, Buswell was awarded the Manhae Prize from the Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism in recognition of his pioneering contributions to Korean Buddhist Studies in the West. Buswell was elected president of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) for 2008-2009, the first time a Koreanist or Buddhologist has ever held the position, and served as past-president and past-past-president in subsequent years. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Beata GRANT is guest co-editing a special issue of the journal Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China dedicated to the question of religion and gender in 20th-century China, and which will include one of her own articles, tentatively entitled Waking from Thirty Years of Dream-Wandering: The Conversion Narratives of Zhang Ruzhao (1900-1969). Grant is also continuing her ongoing work on several other research and writing projects, including a study and annotated translation of a long Chinese popular religious "precious scroll" narrative entitled Woman Huang's Religious Cultivation over Three Lifetimes and an annotated translation of a rare collection of 150 poems composed by a 17th century Chinese woman Zen master.

Thomas KASULIS is University Scholar and Professor Emeritus at the Ohio State University. He formerly chaired OSU’s Department of Comparative Studies as well as the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and directed the Center for the Study of Religion and the Humanities Institute. He has written numerous books and scholarly articles on Japanese religious thought and Western philosophy, including Zen Action/Zen Person (University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989), Shinto: The Way Home (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004). He co-edited Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook (UH press, 2011) as well as three books with SUNY on the meaning of self in Asian cultures. His Gilbert Ryle lectures were published in 2002 as Intimacy or Integrity: Philosophy and Cultural Difference. His most recent work, Engaging Japanese Philosophy: A Short History, was published in 2018 by the University of Hawaiʽi Press.  He has served as president of both the American Society for the Study of Religion and the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy.

John KIESCHNICK is The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor of Buddhist Studies

at Stanford University, co-director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford. His primary field of interest is the cultural history of Chinese Buddhism. His publications include The Eminent Monk. Buddhist Ideals in Chinese Hagiography (1997), The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture (2003), an edited volume entitled India in the Chinese Imagination (2014), and A Primer in Chinese Buddhist Writings (online, ongoing). He is currently working on a monograph on the interpretation of the past in Chinese Buddhism.

KIM Youn-mi is Professor of Art History at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining the Ewha art history faculty, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University and an assistant professor of art history at the Ohio State University. Professor Kim is a specialist in Chinese Buddhist art, but her broader interest in cross-cultural relationships between art and ritual extends to Korean and Japanese materials, as well. She is particularly interested in symbolic rituals, in which an architectural space serves as a non-human agent; the interplay between visibility and invisibility in Buddhist art; and the sacred spaces and religious macrocosms created by religious architecture for imaginary pilgrimages. Based on archaeological data from a medieval Chinese pagoda, her research has also investigated the historical traces of a Buddhist esoteric ritual from Liao China to Heian Japan. She is the editor of New Perspectives on Early Korean Art: From Silla to Koryo (Harvard University Press, 2013), and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, Art, Space, and Ritual in Medieval Buddhism: From a Liao Pagoda to Heian Japanese Esoteric Ritual.

Keller KIMBROUGH is a professor of Japanese Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a native of Colorado and Tennessee. He earned his BA in English Literature at Colorado College (1990) and his MA and PhD degrees in Japanese

Literature from Columbia University (1994) and Yale University (1999). His research interests include medieval Japanese fiction, Japanese Buddhist literature, Heian and medieval poetry and poetics, seventeenth-century puppet theater, and Japanese narrative painting. He has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, Colby College,

and the University of Colorado at Boulder. His books include: Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds: A Collection of Short Medieval Japanese Tales (edited, with Haruo Shirane, 2018); Wondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater (2013); Publishing the Stage: Print and Performance in Early Modern Japan (edited with Satoko Shimazaki, 2011); and Preachers, Poets, Women, and the Way: Izumi Shikibu and the Buddhist Literature of Medieval Japan (2008).

Kate LINGLEY is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa. Her research focuses on Buddhist votive sculpture of the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, with a particular interest in the social history of religious art. Her dissertation was a study of donor figures as public self-representations by Buddhist art patrons in the sixth century. She is interested in the social significance of representation, religious practice, and identity, especially ethnic identity, in a period in which non-Chinese peoples ruled much of North China. This has led to a further interest in Chinese identity in a range of historical periods. The relationship between dress and identity, especially along the Silk Road, has given rise to a second body of research on dress and textiles in medieval China. Professor Lingley’s most recent public project was an exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy from Honolulu collections,that focused on the work of reformers of the 19th and 20th centuries. She is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the representation of identity in Northern Dynasties China by examining the relationship between tomb portraits and donor portraits from the same period. Her teaching covers the range of Chinese art history from the Neolithic to the present day.  Professor Lingley has been the Associate Chair of the Art and Art History Department since January 2013.

Richard D. McBRIDE II is Associate Professor and Chair of History at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.  He earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA (2001), specializing in Korean and Chinese Buddhism and early Korean history.  He was a Fulbright Senior Researcher in Korea in 2007-2008.  He is the author of Domesticating the Dharma:  Buddhist Cults and the Hwaŏm Synthesis in Silla Korea (Honolulu:  University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008).  He is the editor of State and Society in Middle and Late Silla (Cambridge, Mass.:  Early Korea Project, Korea Institute, Harvard University, 2010), the editor and primary translator of Hwaŏm I:  The Mainstream Tradition, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Volume 4 (Seoul:  Tae-Han Pulgyo Chogyejong, 2012), and the editor and translator of Hwaŏm II:  Selected Works, Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Volume 5 (Seoul:  Tae-Han Pulgyo Chogyejong, 2012).  His most recent work is Doctrine and Practice in Medieval Korean Buddhism:  The Collected Works of Ŭich’ŏn, Korean Classics Library: Philosophy and Religion (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2017).  His current projects include a monograph titled Aspiring to Enlightenment: Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea and the chapters on “Silla” and “Buddhism in Early Korea” for the Cambridge History of Korea, vol. 1:  Ancient Korea.

Lori MEEKS is Associate Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Chair of Religion at USC. Her research focuses on the social, cultural, and intellectual histories of Japanese Buddhism.  She is the author of Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan (Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010), which won the 2012 John Whitney Hall Prize for Best Book in Japanese or Korean Studies.  She has also written numerous articles and book chapters, many of which focus on women’s roles in medieval Japan.  Her current project explores the history of cults to the Blood Bowl Sutra in Japan’s early modern period. 

Jin Y. PARK is Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Founding Director of Asian Studies Program at American University. Park specializes in East Asian Buddhism (especially Zen and Huayan Buddhism), postmodernism, deconstruction, Buddhist ethics, Buddhist philosophy of religion, Buddhist-postmodern comparative philosophy, and modern East Asian philosophy. Park’s research in Buddhism focuses on the Zen and Huayan schools of East Asian Buddhism on language, violence, and ethics. In her comparative study, Park reads Zen and Huayan Buddhism together with postmodern thought in Continental philosophy, with a special focus on Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction. Park’s research on modern East Asian philosophy examines the dawn of philosophy in East Asia and the East-West encounter in this context. Her publications include Women and Buddhist Philosophy: Engaging Zen Master Kim Iryŏp (2017), Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun (2014) and Buddhism and Postmodernity: Zen, Huayan, and the Possibility of Buddhist-Postmodern Ethics (2008). Park is also the editor of volumes: Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism (2010). Comparative Political Theory and Cross-Cultural Philosophy (2009), and Merleau- Ponty and Buddhism (co-edited, 2009), Buddhisms and Deconstructions (2006).

James M. SHIELDS received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political theory and anthropology from McGill University, Montréal, Canada in 1991, followed by a Master’s of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College), U.K. in 1993, and a Master’s of Arts in philosophy of religion from McGill University in 1997. In 1998, he entered the doctoral program in philosophy of religion/Asian religions at McGill University. Having been intrigued by a graduate seminar reading of Nishida Kitarō’s Inquiry into the Good, his focus turned eastwards, and in 2000 he received a Monbushō (Ministry of Culture and Education) Fellowship from the Japanese government to study at Kyoto University’s Institute for Japanese Philosophy from October 2000 through July 2002. Dr. Shield’s first book, Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought (Ashgate, 2011), analyzed various modern currents in Japanese Buddhist criticism in light of contemporary Western ethics and philosophy. His second monograph, just published by Oxford University Press, is Against Harmony: Progressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan. In addition to several dozen articles, translations and book chapters, Dr. Shields, is co-editor of Teaching Buddhism in the West: From the Wheel to the Web (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), Buddhist Responses to Globalization (Lexington, 2014), and The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

John SZOSTAK is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Hawaiˋi, Manoa. His primary research focus is modern Japanese art history, especially Nihonga, or neotraditional painting. He did his PhD research as a Fulbright fellow at Kyoto University, where he studied Kyoto-based Nihonga painters and their professional networks in the early 20th century. His academic work has been funded by the Japan Studies Endowment (UH-Manoa), the University Research Council (UH-Manoa), and the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies; in 2010 he was selected as a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow, funding one-year of post-doctoral research at the University of London (SOAS). Generally speaking, Szostak’s research investigates the intersection of artistic identity, national heritage, and received cultural tradition in modern Japan, with special attention paid to both the technical and ideological aspects of neotraditional Japanese painting. In 2013 he published a book on Kyoto painter Tsuchida Bakusen (1887-1936), and he has contributed essays to several edited volumes, international exhibition catalogues, and academic journals. His ongoing research includes a translation project entitled “Japanese Modern Art Sources and Documents (1860s-1940s),” and a study of modernist Japanese Buddhist painting.

Albert WELTER is Professor and Head in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. His primary area of academic study is Chinese Buddhism with a focus on the study of Buddhist texts in the transition from the late Tang (9th century) to the Song dynasty (10th-13th centuries). In recent years, he has published Monks, Rulers, and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism (Oxford, 2006), The Linji lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan’s Records of Sayings Literature (Oxford, 2008), and Yongming Yanshou’s Conception of Chan in the Zongjing lu: A Special Transmission within the Scriptures (Oxford, 2011), in addition to numerous articles. He is currently working on two projects: a comparative analysis of the dialogue records (yulu or goroku) attributed to Chan masters, compiled in the early Song dynasty; and the social and institutional history of Buddhism as conceived through a text also compiled in the early Song dynasty, Zanning’s Topical Compendium of Buddhism (Seng shilue). Stemming from this latter research interest, Professor Welter has also developed a broader interest in Chinese administrative policies toward religion, including Chinese notions of secularism and their impact on religious beliefs and practices. His work also encompasses Buddhist interactions with Neo-Confucianism and literati culture.