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IASBS events at this year’s AAR

Monday, September 16, 2013, 9:48 am

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) is the largest professional organization for scholars of religion in North America. Annually, the AAR hosts a conference that draws tens of thousands of religious scholars. Because this is the largest annual religious studies event in North America, scholars of Buddhism regularly attend, and there are numerous panels, presentations, and public events that focus on Buddhist history, thought, and culture.

The International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies (IASBS), the largest international organization dedicated to the scholarly study of Pure Land Buddhism, has recently become a related scholarly organization of the AAR. This means that the IASBS will be able to host meetings in conjunction with the AAR’s annual meeting, thus allowing for greater exposure of Shin and Pure Land Buddhist studies to a North American audience.

To celebrate this new arrangement, the IASBS will host a reception at this year’s AAR meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

The reception is scheduled for Saturday, November 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, Whitehall Ballroom North, 550 Light St, Baltimore. Please join us to celebrate this new relationship, meet scholars and practitioners working in the fields of Shin and Pure Land Buddhist Studies, and learn more about both the IASBS and AAR. The reception is open to the public.

Also at this year’s AAR will be a panel dedicated to studies of Shinran. The panel, “(Re)imagining the Founder: Shinran in Modern Japanese History,” features Shin Buddhist scholars including Orion Klautau, Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, Makoto Hayashi, and others. Papers will explore new and emerging scholarship on Shinran’s life and biography.

The panel is scheduled for Sunday, November 24, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at the Marriott Inner Harbor, Grand Ballroom West, 110 South Eutaw Street, Baltimore. The panel is also open to the public.

For more information on the American Academy of Religion, please visit

For more information on the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies, please visit

And for questions regarding this year’s events at the AAR, please contact Scott Mitchell at the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

Call for Papers: Pure Land Buddhism Conference

Monday, December 03, 2012, 3:22 pm

Call for papers:
The Pure Land in Buddhist Cultures: History, Image, Praxis, Thought

University of British Columbia | Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Abstracts due: February 1, 2013
Papers due: May 23, 2013

For more information, visit the conference website here.

Pure Land Buddhist traditions have been some of the largest and most influential in Buddhist history, and remain so to the present day. Moreover, the very idea of a purified, perfect land of a buddha echoes throughout Buddhist text and praxis. Most often, this buddha is “Immeasurable Light” or “Immeasurable Life,” who created a pure land far to the west of our own world. But there are many others. This conference aims to examine sectarian traditions of Pure Land Buddhism as well as the “pure land” within Buddhism generally. As this conference is jointly-sponsored by associations connected to Pure Land Buddhist traditions in two countries, it is a unique chance to approach pure land expansively, in terms of its long history, global reach, and diverse regional and trans-regional expressions–whether in or across what are today known as China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, and so on. The hope is to increase knowledge and scholarly exchange about the multifaceted development of pure land in Buddhist cultures. Papers are welcome on any aspect of pure land, type of Pure Land Buddhism, any region or historical period, and from any methodological or disciplinary perspective.

Please see the conference website for more information.

2009 IASBS Conference Highlights

Monday, June 22, 2009, 11:45 am

Some 100 scholars, priests, and students attended the 14th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies held on June 12-14 at the Ryukoku University Omiya Campus in Kyoto, Japan. With the theme “Shin Buddhism in the World of the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Potential,” some 52 scholars, priests, and students from Japan, the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hawaii, South America, and Europe presented papers on a wide variety of topics committed to Shin Buddhist Studies.

Some interesting papers included “Pure Land Teaching of Yongming Yanshu: Implications for Shin Buddhist Practice in the Twenty-First Century,” by Professor Albert Welter of the University of Winnipeg; “The Importance of Developing Religious Education and Pastoral Care Service,” by Mari Sengoku, graduate student at Tottori University; “The Influence of Women on Buddhist Secularization in the Song Period: Focuson Women in Southeast China,” by Jingjing Zhu a graduate student at the University of the West; and “Recent Changes in Society and Shin Buddhism,” by Gerhard Schepers, Professor Emeritus at the International Christian University.

BCA and IBS papers were given by Rev. Dr. Hoshu Matsubayashi, Rinban of the Seattle Betsuin, on “Contemporary Understanding of the Utmost Happy Pure Land”; Mitsumi Wondera, IBS Student, on “Takagi Kenmyo’s Influence to Contemporary Shin Buddhist Thought”; and Dr. Scott Mitchel, IBS Adjunct Professor, on “Buddhism , Pop-Culture, and Homogenization of the Dharma.”

IBS graduates presenting papers were Rev. Angela Andrade, Honpa Honganji South America on “Aspects of the Shin Buddhist Faith Literary Works”; Rev. Naoyuki Ogi , Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, on “TakagI Kenmyo: a 20th Century Example of a Way of Life on ‘Revitalizing Buddhism’”; Rev. Mary David, Moilili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Buddha’s Teaching”; and Rev. Tsui Chung-hui, graduate student at Hong Kong University on “Calligraphy of the Dunhuang Monestary: Based on the Northern Liang (AD 397-460) Period.”

Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean and Dr. Seigen Yamaoka attended the conference representing IBS.

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