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2014 Commencement

Friday, May 30, 2014, 3:20 pm

IBS 2014 Commencement:

Four Institute of Buddhist Studies’ Buddhist Chaplaincy students received their joint Graduate Theological Union/IBS Masters Degrees at commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 23, 2014.

The event was chaired by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto. The opening service was conducted by Bishop Kodo Umezu, President of IBS. Opening remarks were made by Dr. Richard Payne, Dean, and Richard Endo, Chair, of the IBS Board of Trustees.

The address for the event was presented by Rev. Peter Yuichi Clark, Ph.D. manager of Spiritual Care Services at the UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Clark in his address pointed out one key point and four corollaries that all chaplains must consider based on his reading of the “Tannisho,” Chapter 12. The key point is “Knowledge is the servant of wisdom and compassion, not their master.” The first corollary is, “knowledge can promote wisdom, but it can also mislead us if we use it inappropriately,” The second corollary is, “upaya, an expedient means that requires discernment.” The third corollary is, “knowledge is relational; we learn in connection with others.” The fourth corollary is, “our training is a trust, to be wielded humbly and compassionately, not with a sense of entitlement or arrogance.”

Conferral of Graduate Degrees were presented by Dr. Payne and Rev, Marvin Harada, Vice Chair, IBS Board of Trustees.

Graduates were:

  • Diana L. Clark, Ph.D., “The Ambattha Sutra of the Buddha Pali Canon: Its Socio-Historical Literary Context,” with committee members Dr. Payne, Gil Fronsdal, Ph.D., Scott Mitchell, Ph.D.
  • Carole Gallucchi, Ph.D, “Lojong for Buddhist Chaplains,” with committee members, Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst, Ph.D., Dr. Mitchell
  • Chenxing Han, “Engaging the Invisible Majority: Conversations with Young Adult Asian American Buddhists,” with Dr.Mitchel, Dr. Clark
  • Trent T. Thornley, “A Literary Analysis of the Ariyapariyesnna Sutta, with committee members Dr. Kinst, Dr. Matsumoto, Dr. Fonsdal, and Eleanor Rosch, Ph.D.

Certificate of Buddhist Chaplaincy were presented to Judith S. Long, Gullucchi, Han, and Thornley. Dr. Kinst was their advisor.

A reception followed with family and friends.

Fall orientation

August 28, 2013
11:00 amto12:30 pm

New and continuing students are encouraged to attend the Fall 2012 student orientation, Wednesday, August 28 from 11 a.m.

Orientation is an excellent opportunity to meet IBS faculty and staff, consult with your advisor, register for classes, and meeting your classmates.

For more information, please contact the home office.

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

April 24, 2013
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Students of the Institute of Buddhist Studies are hosting a Hanamatsuri celebration, Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m., at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley. This event is free and open to the public.

Please contact us for detail.

 

3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium: Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture

April 13, 2013
1:00 pmto5:00 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies’ 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Generously co-sponsored by the Graduate Theological Union’s Asia Project
and The Numata Foundation

April 13, 2013, 1 pm – 5 pm

We are pleased to announce 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Our theme this year is “Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture.” Buddhist ritual practices are shaped by their location and are affected by the ritual objects. How does the material world determine the ways that Buddhism is practiced? How do Buddhists use ritual objects? In turn, how does Buddhism shape these objects and transform the physical world? What is the impact, for example, on the physical world as a result of religious pilgrimage or tourism? How do Buddhists transform physical objects in the process of ritualization? This symposium will focus on these themes and will consider both historical and contemporary uses of material objects in Buddhist ritual, Buddhism’s impact on cultural materials, and the relationships between Buddhism and sacred objects.

The symposium will feature a keynote address by Prof. Justin McDaniel of the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. McDaniel’s talk is generously supported by the Numata Foundation.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 13, beginning at 1 pm, at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, CA.

This event is free and open to the public. Please visit our Facebook event page to RSVP or drop a note in the comments below.

Keynote Address:

Architects of Buddhist Leisure
Justin McDaniel, University of Pennsylvania

The rise of Asian economies over the 20th and 21st centuries has not only brought market competition and political influence, but also the rise of a “leisure class.” Buddhism, usually described as an austere religion which condemns desire and promotes monasticism and denial, has not been the subject of the history of leisure. There has been little investigation of Buddhist pleasures or pastimes. However, Buddhist leisure activities, Buddhist tourism, and Buddhist material products are common parts of Asian culture. Indeed, some of the first tourist books and souvenir shops in Asia were marketed and owned by practicing Buddhists in Bangkok, Kyoto, and Singapore. Novels and coffee-table books about Buddhist tourists and pleasure-seekers have been popular in Thai, Chinese, and Japanese history. Buddhist monasteries across Asia are sites of playgrounds, sports-fields, and shopping bazaars. Over the past seventy years, Buddhist comic books, films, and soap-operas have flourished on Asian airwaves. Indeed, many of the ways Buddhist children first learn about their religion is not in the strict confines of a monastic training center, but through Buddhist leisure activities like singing songs, family trips, martial arts camps, and beauty contests.  These creative religious improvisations and public culture of Buddhism in Asia is often built on the idea that Buddhist practice and leisure activities go hand-in-hand.

This short talk focuses on the work of three architects of Buddhist public and leisure spaces in Nepal, Singapore, and Thailand and is designed to start a discussion about the very idea of Buddhist leisure space in modern Asia.

Justin McDaniel studies ghosts and manuscripts in Asia. After living and researching in South and Southeast Asia for many years as a translator, archivist, amulet collector, volunteer teacher, and Buddhist monk. He returned to the States and received his PhD from Harvard University’s Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies in 2003. His research foci include Lao, Thai, Pali and Sanskrit literature, Southeast Asian Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist architecture, ritual studies, manuscript studies, asceticism, the undead, and general phantasmagoria. His first book is on the history of Buddhist monastic education in Laos and Thailand, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). It won the Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies for the best first book in Southeast Asian Studies. His second book, The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011) is a study on material culture and ritual in Thai Buddhism. His recent publications appear in the Bulletin l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient (Études thématiques), Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Aséanie, Journal of Religion and Film, Material Religion, Manusya, Journal of Burma Studies, and the Journal of the Siam Society, as well as contributions to collected articles on Buddhism and Modernity, Pali literature, Palm-leaf Manuscript research, and liturgical studies. He is the co-editor of the journals Buddhism Compass and Journal of Lao Studies, and is the former Chair of the Southeast Asian Studies Council and the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Studies Group of the Association of Asian Studies. He has won several teaching and advising awards. In collaboration with colleagues at Penn, UC Riverside, and in Thailand, he has designed two websites: The Thai Digital Monastery Project (tdm.sas.upenn.edu) and the Thai, Lao, Cambodia Studies Portal (tlc.sas.upenn.edu). His present project looks at the advent of Buddhist leisure (parks, museums, carnivals, film, comics, bird-watching, and collecting stuff) in Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Laos. In 2012 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow and is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Schedule of Events:

1:00pm: Welcome
Scott Mitchell, Institute of Buddhist Studies
Moses Penumaka, Graduate Theological Union Asia Project

1:15pm: Presentation of Graduate Student Work, part 1

Ryan Anningson; Wilfrid Laurier University-University of Waterloo
“’There Hang the Jewels:’ The Motif of Jewels in Buddhist Narratives”

Matthew Milligan; The University of Texas-Austin
“Material Evidence for Donation as Ritual in the Epigraphic Habit of Early Indian Buddhists”

-Break-

2:00pm: Presentation of Graduate Student Work, part 2

Ying Chien Chen (Rev. Jian Ji); The Institute of Buddhist Studies
“DDM Ash Burial Ceremony – How Buddhism Influences Chinese Cremation Culture”

Tsun Nyen Yong (Rev. You Min); The Institute of Buddhist Studies
“Memorial Tablets in Contemporary Chinese Buddhist Ritual”

Aaron Proffitt; The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
“Dōhan’s 道範 (1178-1252) Himitsu nenbutsu shō 秘密念仏抄 and Tantric Pure Land in Medieval Japanese Buddhism”

Discussion and Questions

4:00pm: Keynote Address: Architects of Buddhist Leisure

Dr. Justin McDaniel; Associate Professor, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

A light reception will follow.

Call for papers, Update: Proposal Deadline Extended

Monday, December 03, 2012, 9:31 am

Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture

Update: Proposal Deadline Extended

The Institute of Buddhist Studies’ 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Keynote speaker Dr. Justin McDaniel
University of Pennsylvania

April 13th, 2013
Institute of Buddhist Studies
Berkeley, CA

Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Our theme this year is “Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture.” Buddhist ritual practices are shaped by their location and are affected by the ritual objects. How does the material world determine the ways that Buddhism is practiced? How do Buddhists use ritual objects? In turn, how does Buddhism shape these objects and transform the physical world? What is the impact, for example, on the physical world as a result of religious pilgrimage or tourism? How do Buddhists transform physical objects in the process of ritualization? This symposium will focus on these themes and will consider both historical and contemporary uses of material objects in Buddhist ritual, Buddhism’s impact on cultural materials, and the relationships between Buddhism and sacred objects.

We invite graduate students to submit proposals considering one or more of these topics, either historically or contemporarily. Proposals should be no more than 200 words, and include the paper’s title and the author’s name, affiliation, and contact information. Please submit proposals to courtney.bruntz -at  - gmail no later than January 31, 2013.

Professor McDaniel’s keynote address is being generously supported by the Yehan Numata Foundation.

Important Dates:
Submission of Abstract: January 31, 2013
Notification of Proposal Result: February 15, 2013
Submission of Full Paper: April 1, 2013
Conference Event: April 13, 2013

2012 Fall Semester enrollment

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 2:54 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), seminary and graduate School, began its 2012 fall semester with a total of eighty students enrolled in its Buddhist Studies programs.

“The IBS continues to grow with the various study programs that are being provided for the needs of the contemporary world. We hope to continue to grow with the help and support of IBS friends who continue to support the vision and direction of our educational program,” said Dr. Richard Payne, Dean.

Of the total number of IBS students, sixteen are in the Common MA program (jointly administered by the IBS and the Graduate Theological Union), one is in the ministerial training program, ten in the Buddhist chaplaincy program, three general Buddhist Studies, and one Theravada Buddhist Studies.

Also attending are four exchange students, two from Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and two from Dharma Drum University, Taiwan.

For further information, contact the IBS.

Fall 2012 New & Continuing Student Orientation

August 22, 2012
10:30 amto2:00 pm

New and continuing IBS students are encouraged to come to the Fall 2012 orientation, Wednesday, August 22, 2012, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Orientation is a great way to learn about course offerings for the upcoming year, meet faculty and other students, learn about important policy or program updates, or meet with your advisor.

Please RSVP for orientation by contacting Linda Shiozaki.

2012 Institute of Buddhist Studies Commencement

Monday, May 21, 2012, 9:00 am

Five Institute Of Buddhist Studies’ students received their Master Degrees at a commencement ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2012 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley.

The event was chaired by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto. The opening service was conducted by Rev. Kodo Umezu, IBS President and Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America.

Opening remarks were given by Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, and Rev. Marvin Harada, IBS Trustee Interim Chair.

The commencement address was presented by Dr. Franz Aubery Metcalf, Professor at California State University Los Angeles and the IBS Spring Numata Lecturer. He spoke on the subject of “Our Buddhadharma, our Buddhist Dharma.”

IBS graduates were awarded a Masters Degree in Buddhist Studies degree, in joint sponsorship with the Graduate Theological Union. Graduates included:

  • Kathryn Bilotti Stark, “Compassionate Awareness and Transformation: The Relevancy of Mindfulness Teaching and Practice in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care,” with thesis committee members Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kiinst, Dr. Payne, and Dr. Gil Fronsdal
  • Alex John McDermid, “Gender in Jodo Shinshu Temple Families,” with thesis committee members Dr. Lisa Grumbach and Dr. Matsumoto
  • Christina Yanko-Ringle, “Aspects of Yogachara in the Discourse on the Pure Land,” with thesis committee members Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Payne
  • Diana Lynne Thompson, “Narratives of Evil: A comparison of the Ajatashtru Story and Batman Graphic Novels,” with thesis committee members Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Payne
  • Anne Cottrell Spencer, “Jodo Shinshu in America: A Demographic Survey of the Buddhist Churches of America,” with thesis committee members of Dr. Scott Mitchell and Dr. Kinst

Ven. Nguyen Duong and Kathryn Stark were awarded the Certificate of Buddhist Chaplaincy for their work and course studies under the guidance of Dr. Kinst.
McDermid, Yanko-Ringle, and Duong received their degrees in absentia. All the degrees and certificates where conferred to the recipient by Dean Payne and Rev. Harada.

A reception followed with family and friends.

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.

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).”

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