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Online Program Book

All Times are Listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Theme: Old Paths and New Directions in Zen Studies: Celebrating Over Four Decades of Scholarship by Steven Heine

Tuesday, December 1, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (EST UTC-5)

Join the Society for the Study of Japanese Religions as we raise a virtual glass to celebrate the scholarly contributions of Steven Heine upon his retirement this year. Five leading scholars of Japanese and East Asian religions will focus on selected works from his oeuvre of 35 books and edited volumes, and reflect on how they have influenced the field in terms of interregional flows, historical period studies, and methodological approaches. Following these prepared remarks and Dr. Heine’s response, online participants are welcome to offer their own brief tributes that speak to Dr. Heine’s scholarship, mentorship, and continued influence in the field. A final toast will close out the session (we encourage you to prepare your own drink of choice at home in advance!)

Theme: The South Asian Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism: Seeking Śākyamuni by Richard Jaffe (University of Chicago Press, 2019)

Tuesday, December 8, 1:45 PM-3:15 PM (EST UTC-5)

Richard Jaffe breaks new ground in this book Seeking Śākyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism (2018). Moving beyond the assumption that modern Japanese Buddhism was shaped by a unidirectional flow of ideas from the West to Japan, Jaffe shows how an interweaving of global events, ideas, material culture, and networks among Japan, South Asia, and Southeast Asia transformed Buddhism in modern Japan. In excavating the multi-level and multi-faceted relationships that Japanese Buddhists fostered with South Asian and Southeast Asian Buddhists from the late nineteenth to the first half of the twentieth century, Jaffe’s research challenges scholars to pay greater attention to the influence of the south on (Japanese) Buddhist modernity. In this roundtable, five panelists who study Buddhism from various geographical areas through a range of approaches will share their perspectives on Seeking Śākyamuni, followed by a response from Professor Richard Jaffe. The panel will then open the floor for discussion. We very much look forward to a vibrant conversation on the dynamic nature of Asian Buddhist modernity.