Beginning in January 2018, the Institute of Buddhist Studies welcomes a visiting scholar to Berkeley, Enrique Galvan-Alvarez.
Prof. Galvan-Alvarez is an Associate Professor at Universidad Internacional de La Rioja-UNIR and a lay member of the Shin Buddhist Fellowship-UK. He has published a monograph and numerous journal articles about postcolonial histories, the invention of tradition and the role of religious narratives in emancipatory struggles in Tibet, Japan, Syria and the Canary Islands. Enrique’s doctoral research explored Tibetan exile culture through the production of English-language poetry. He is currently researching how the concept of practice is differently imagined across Jodo Shinshu communities in North and South America.
Through June, Prof. Galvan-Alvarez will be conducting research for his project A Practice That Is Not Our Practice: Glocal Routes of the Jodo Shinshu Diaspora. This project explores the various ways in which the Jodo Shinshu tradition (and in particular its Honganji-ha branch) is practiced throughout the Americas. Prof. Galvan-Alvarez with visiting three communities — the Pasadena Buddhist Temple (Los Angeles, CA), the Furaibo Nembutsu Dojo (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and the Templo Shin Budista Terra Pura (Brasília, Brazil) — and study specific rituals that are unique to those temples and that have been developed in recent years. The rituals in question have, by and large, not been part of the historical mainstream of Jodo Shinshu praxis (e.g. fudan nenbutsu, Kanmuryojukyo) but have been adapted to a Shinshu sensibility. Thus these practices contribute to and shape the glocal identity of a given community, while exploring the complex notion of practice in a Jodo Shinshu context.