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2023 Numata Symposium: Buddhist Practice: Perspectives on and From the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Practice

October 6, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

On October 6, 2023, IBS will host a Numata Symposium entitled, “Buddhist Practice: Perspectives on and From the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Practice.” This day-long symposium will bring together 18 contributors to explore themes from the 2022 publication, co-edited by IBS faculty member Paula Arai and Kevin Trainor of the University of Vermont. The handbook explores transformational practices that require practitioners to move, gesture, and emote in prescribed ways, including the ways that scholars’ own embodied practices are integral to their research methodology. Given the fluidity and diversity of Buddhist practices, a central question that animates this volume is: What makes a given practice Buddhist? The concluding keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Anne Blackburn of Cornell University, who will contextualize the volume’s place in the current field of Buddhist studies.

This free event will run from 10 am-5 pm at the Jodo Shinshu Center at 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704. Online access will also be available.

Register for online webinar here.

Register for in-person event here. 



Paula Arai, co-editor, “Introduction: Embodiment and Sense Experience” and “Buddhist Practice 

in East Asia,” Institute of Buddhist Studies

Kevin Trainor, co-editor, “Introduction: Embodiment and Sense Experience,” University of 

Vermont emeritus


10:00 am-12 pm

Regional Perspectives

Nathan McGovern, “Buddhist Practice in Southeast Asia,” University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Eun-su Cho, “Buddhist Practice in East Asia,” University of Seoul, emeritus

Todd Lewis, “Buddhist Practice in Central Asia/Himalayas,” College of the Holy Cross

Scott Mitchell, “Buddhist Practice in Europe and North America,” Institute of Buddhist Studies


Modernities and Emergent Forms of Practice

Jitsujo T. Gauthier, “Buddhist Chaplaincy,” University of the West

Erik Braun, “Seeing through Mindfulness Practices, ” University of Virginia

Elizabeth Harris, “Buddhist and Non-Buddhist Practitioner Relations, ” University of 


John D. Dunne, “Contemplative Science and Buddhist Science, ” University of Wisconsin-



Domestic & Monastic Practices

Vesna Wallace, “Monastic Discipline and Local Practice,” Univ. of California, Santa Barbara 

Hiroko Kawanami, “Women’s Ordination,” University of Lancaster

Lori Meeks, “Monastic Authority in Medieval Japan: The Case of the Convent Hokkeji,” 

University of Southern California



Material Mediations / Bodies in Transition

Susan Huntington, “The Agency of Images,” Ohio State University, emeritus

Julia Shaw, “Buddhism and the “Natural” Environment,” University College London

Miranda Shaw, “Dance as Vajrayana Practice, “University of Richmond, emeritus


Body-Mind Transformations / Human and Non-Human Interactions

Charles Jones, “Pure Land Practice,” Catholic University of America

Mahinda Deegalle, “Aural Practices of Chanting and Protection, “Bath Spa University

Stephen Jenkins, “Heavenly Rebirth and Buddhist Soteriology,” Humboldt State University, emeritus   



Keynote Address by Anne M. Blackburn, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Cornell University. Author of Buddhist-inflected Sovereignties Across the Indian Ocean: A Pali Arena, 1200-1550, Buddhist Learning and Textual Practice in Eighteenth-Century Lankan Monastic Culture, and Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka.


4:00-4:45 Q&A


4:45-5:30 Reception



October 6, 2023
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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