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Monthly Archive for March 2012

Weekend Seminar and Intensive Study Program on Shinran Shonin’s Thought and the Nirvana Sutra

July 6, 2012toJuly 12, 2012

Weekend Seminar and Intensive Study Program on Shinran Shonin’s Thought and the Nirvana Sutra

Keynote and study program led by Mark L. Blum, State University of New York, Albany

Prof. Blum is translating the Nirvana Sutra for the BDK Tripitaka Translation Series. The first volume of this new translation of a key Mahayana text will be published this year.

Pacific Seminar 2012: Shinran’s Quest
Weekend seminar: Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8, 2012

Piecing together the events in Shinran’s life with his writings, the goal of the seminar is to identify first the problematic issues that Shinran was facing personally and socially, then identify what the solutions were that he discovered, and then to expand this into a more broad discussion of the implications inherent in those solutions in regard to (1) how to interpret the Buddhist tradition, (2) how to assess the nature of mankind/humankind in his time, and (3) what implications these conclusions have for us today both in our particular social and psychological contexts, and for the human condition as a whole regardless of time or place.

A key component of the entire seminar will be the relationship between the doctrines in Tannisho and the Nirvana Sutra and how this perspective or gestalt was used by Shinran to understand the core teachings of The Larger Sutra and The Contemplation Sutra. This way of studying Shinran is something that at this point is rarely if ever discussed in English language materials on Shinran and Shin thought as a whole.

For more information on the Pacific Seminar, please contact the Center for Buddhist Education.

Shinran and the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra
Intensive study program: Monday, July 9 to Thursday, July 12, 2012

This seminar will examine the role of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra in Shinran’s religious outlook. We will first look at the general themes of this scripture within the historical evolution of East Asian Buddhist thought, especially the Tiantai/Tendai scholastic tradition, and then look at where and how Shinran uses this sutra to support his arguments in the Kyōgyōshinshō.

Participation in the intensive study program requires participation in the weekend seminar as well. Academic credit (1.5 to 3.0 units) is available through the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

These programs are co-hosted by the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and the Center for Buddhist Education. Please contact the CBE for more information and registration materials.

Domestic Dharma

September 22, 2012
9:00 amto5:30 pm

Domestic Dharma Symposium

The Institute of Buddhist Studies Numata Symposium:

Domestic Dharma

Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Jodo Shinshu Center

2140 Durant Avenue

Berkeley, CA

For a detailed schedule of the day’s event, download this flyer and schedule.

Lay Buddhist practices are increasingly recognized as a distinct tradition, existing outside the definitions of Buddhism provided by the textual tradition and by monastic models. The 2012 IBS Numata Symposium will focus on the practice of Buddhism in the household—the Dharma in its domestic setting. Keynote addresses will be given by
Paula Arai and Lisa Grumbach. Other speakers will include
Daijaku Judith Kinst and Scott Mitchell.

Dr. Arai will speak on the topic of “Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan.” Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support.

Paula Arai, the author of Women Living Zen: Japanese Buddhist Nuns (Oxford University Press, 1999) and Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Heart of Japanese Buddhist Women’s Rituals (University of Hawaii Press, 2011), has performed ground-breaking research on monastic and lay Japanese Buddhist women. She is currently an associate professor of Buddhist Studies at Louisiana State University and vice-president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women.

Dr. Grumbach’s presentation will be entitled, “Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan.” She will explore the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, she will argue that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.”

Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature will be used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan.

Lisa Grumbach teaches at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California, and at Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan. Her research focuses on interactions between Buddhism and Shinto in medieval Japan, the development of Shinto-Buddhist ritual, and the role of food in East Asian religions.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP using the form below.

 

Second Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Monday, March 26, 2012, 9:01 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, CA sponsored and held its Second Annual Graduate Symposium that presented work from graduate students across the United States. Institutions represented included Florida State University, the Graduate Theological Union, the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Maitripa College, Northwestern University, and University of Southern California. Within the fields of Art History, Buddhist Studies, and Religious Studies, students presented papers focused on the theme of Globalization, Tourism, Modernization and the Religions of Asia.

Each student explored how one or more of these topics transforms Religions of Asia, both in Asia and the West. Major issues that arose included global and cultural transformations and translations of texts and practices, modern and contemporary activities of Buddhists, and current exhibitions and presentations of Buddhism and Religions of Asia.

The first panel of students gave papers that raised these issues as related to published materials. Jared Gardner from Maitripa College suggested ways that Buddhist literature on the self can be applied to global capitalism, arguing there is a need to think about globalization from a Buddhist perspective. Chenxing Han from the Institute of Buddhist Studies analyzed popular and scientific perspectives on mindful eating and their presentations of Buddhism, which generated conversations comparing the use of Buddhist ideas in popular versus scientific literature. Finally, Sarah Whylly from Florida State University investigated translations of Tannisho that gave way to discussions of contemporary translations of Buddhist texts and concepts. While these papers were diverse in their areas of expertise, an issue raised among them was the importance of power and publication. Across Asia and into the West, Buddhism is globalized and modernized in new ways, and these presenters evidenced how publications affect Buddhism’s contemporary cultural transformations.

The second panel of students raised issues of tourism, exhibition, and presentations of Buddhism and Religions of Asia. Courtney Bruntz from the Graduate Theological Union investigated how religious tourism before China’s 2008 Olympics impacted Beijing temple reconstruction, and in doing so, she presented the ways in which temples were repurposed to meet the needs of China’s growing tourist market. Xiao Yang from Northwestern University detailed visual strategies of Feng Zikai’s Buddhist-Inflected sketches to analyze the relationship between Buddhist art and the development of a civic body. This raised conversation regarding the connections between the cultivation of new cultural environments and Buddhist-inspired practices. Lastly, Victoria Pinto from University of Southern California looked at ‘The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito’ exhibit in North America to discuss contemporary representations of Buddhism. In keeping with the other two presenters, Victoria also raised correlations between visual materials and cultural settings. Questions brought up by the presenters included global representations of Buddhism and Religions of Asia, contemporary museum practices, effects of tourism, and visual strategies of artists. Whereas the first panel considered textual material, this second panel focused on the visual, and presenters introduced art and architecture as a means for conveying, exhibiting, and espousing particular religious and political ideals.

For more information on abstracts and papers from this symposium, please contact Scott Mitchell or Courtney Bruntz at courtney.bruntz@gmail.com.

2012 Ryukoku Lecture: Series True Teaching, Practice and Realization, part 1

March 8, 2012
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

2012 Ryūkoku Lecture Series
True Teaching, Practice and Realization: its aim and the formation of Shinran’s Pure Land Teaching

Presented by Professor Hisashi Tonouchi, Ryūkoku University

Thursday March 8, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Features and Critiques of Hōnen’s Pure Land Teaching

All lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies

2140 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, Ca 94704

Download a flyer for these events.

2012 Ryukoku Lecture Series: True Teaching, Practice and Realization, part 2

March 15, 2012
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

2012 Ryūkoku Lecture Series
True Teaching, Practice and Realization: its aim and the formation of Shinran’s Pure Land Teaching

Presented by Professor Hisashi Tonouchi, Ryūkoku University

Thursday March 15, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Birth through the nembutsu: Shinran’s explications of practice and shinjin

All lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies

2140 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, Ca 94704

Download a flyer for these events.

Graduate Student Symposium: Globalization, Tourism, Modernization, and Religions of Asia

March 16, 2012
1:00 pmto5:30 pm

We are pleased to announce the Institute of Buddhist Studies’ Second Annual Graduate Student symposium: “Globalization, Tourism, Modernization, and the Religions of Asia.”

The symposium will highlight work by graduate students, who will present a range of topics within the field of Religious Studies. Considerations will include religious tourism, cultural transformation of texts and practices, and modern and contemporary activities of Buddhists.

The event will take place 1:00pm – 5:30pm, Friday March 16th at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, with a light reception to follow.

RSVP on our Facebook page.

This event is free and open to the public.

Presenters include:

Courtney Bruntz, Graduate Theological Union: “Religious Tourism in Contemporary China: A Case Study of Beijing Temple Reconstruction and the 2008 Olympics.”

Chenxing Han, Institute of Buddhist Studies: “What’s Buddhism got to do with it?: Popular and scientific perspectives on mindful eating.”

Jared Gardner, Maitripa College and Starr King School for the Ministry: “Globalism, Capitalism and Race: Toward a Buddhist Theology of Racial Justice.”

Victoria Pinto, University of Southern California: “Encounter and Passage: A Look at ‘The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito’ Exhibit in North America.”

Sarah Whylly, Florida State University: “Tannisho Translations.”

Xiao Yang, Northwestern University: “Art as Skillful Means (upāya方便), Art for New Chinese Citizens: Visual Strategies of Feng Zikai’s Buddhist-Inflected Sketches (1920-1940s).”

2012 Ryukoku Lecture Series: True Teaching, Practice and Realization, part 3

March 22, 2012
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

2012 Ryūkoku Lecture Series
True Teaching, Practice and Realization: its aim and the formation of Shinran’s Pure Land Teaching

Presented by Professor Hisashi Tonouchi, Ryūkoku University

Thursday March 22, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
The Jōgen Suppression and Shinran’s admonition against self-power

All lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies
2140 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, Ca 94704

Download a flyer for these events.

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