Buddhism or Buddhisms? Rhetorical consequences of geo-political categories

The categorization of Buddhism along geo-political lines is perhaps the most common organizing principle today. It also tends to be accepted uncritically. Thus we find, without explanation, such expressions as “Indian Buddhism,” “Tibetan Buddhism,” “Chinese Buddhism,” “Burmese Buddhism,” and so on. These categories predominate not only in popular representations of Buddhism, such as the Buddhist magazines, but also in textbooks of both “world’s religions” and of Buddhism, in academic societies, and publishing, and perhaps the most durable entrenchment, in academic appointments.

New Publication: Buddhism in the Modern World

Routledge has published a new volume, edited by David L. McMahan, titled Buddhism in the Modern World.

In Buddhism in the Modern World, McMahan brings together sixteen scholars to discuss various aspects of modern Buddhism in contemporary Asia and the West. Scholars from Martin Baumann and Paul David Numrich to Damien Keown and Cristina Rocha explore how Buddhism is practiced from Southeast Asia to Europe, how it influences ethics and social engagement, culture and politics.

Aratani Presentation

Mr. George T. Arataini, a long time supporter of the Institute of Buddhist Studies was conferred an Honorary Doctorate at his home in Hollywood, CA on Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, the IBS George and Sakaye Aratani Professor. Dr. Aratani was not able to attend the IBS Commencement Ceremony held on May 14, 2010 in Berkeley, CA.

2009 IASBS Conference Highlights

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.

2009 Vesak Celebration

The Buddhist Council of Northern California (BCNC) will hosts the annual Vesak Celebration on Saturday, May 30, 2009 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. The theme of this year’s gathering will be “Steps Along the Way”

New Publication: Path of No Path

The Institute of Buddhist Studies, Graduate Seminary for Shin Buddhist Ministry and Buddhist Research, and the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research both at Berkeley, announced the publication of the second of three volumes titled, “Path of No Path—Contemporary Studies in Pure Land Buddhism.”

Dr. Eisho Nasu Receives New Post

Dr. Eisho Nasu, the Hongwanji Chair Professor of Shin Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, for the past twelve years, was recently offered by Ryukoku University, Kyoto to the position of full-professor of Shinshu Studies in the university’s Department of Letters. He will begin his teaching assignment on April 1, 2009. Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, made the announcement at the IBS Trustee Meeting on Friday, January 23, 2009.