CFA> NEH Summer Institute for Higher Education Faculty, "Ritual Arts in Hinduism and Buddhism" June 19-July 3, 2022

Todd Lewis's picture

This two-week Summer Institute will provide an overview of the distinctive rituals and the associated ritual arts of the two major world religions of South and Southeast Asia. To balance the usual college course emphasis on doctrine defining religious traditions, this Institute will focus on the distinctive forms of praxis that express and act upon each faith’s central beliefs.

Ritual and the arts were essential to guiding the devotional lives of most householders now and in the past: daily temple and home ritualism, the yearly round of festivals, life-cycle rites, the communal lives of priests and monks. By highlighting and observing these, the institute will provide avenues for participants to more deeply understand and convey to students the full importance of praxis in communities, and see how Hindu and Buddhist traditions have met both transcendental and pragmatic human needs.

Appreciating the role of statues, paintings, texts in devotional life will open pathways to greater student insight about these traditions and ways to add new vitality to courses. The institute will immerse participants in major rituals brought to campus, as well as through visits to a vibrant nearby immigrant Hindu temple and Buddhist monastery in the Boston suburbs.  Participants will also enjoy extended visits to both the Harvard Art Museum and the MFA in Boston, and see objects "behind the scenes" with art historians and curators.  Our distinguished faculty include: Jinah Kim, Ariana Maki, Charles Ramble, Justin McDaniel, John Holt, Shree Padma Holt, Naresh Bajracharya, Richard Davis, and Gloria Chien.

Institute Web Site:   

Applications are submitted online through a portal on the site; Deadline of March 1 2022.  (Acceptances by April 1)

Participant Stipend: $2200    (to cover expenses)

Participant Eligibility           Institutes are designed mainly for a national audience of full- or part-time faculty who teach undergraduate students. However, the Selection Committee will also admit a limited number of others whose work lies outside undergraduate teaching but who demonstrate that their participation will advance project goals and enhance their own professional work. At least five spaces will be reserved for non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty members. Three spaces will be reserved for advanced graduate students.

Participants must be United States citizens, or residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline (3/1/2022).  U.S. citizens teaching abroad at U.S. chartered institutions are also eligible to participate.  Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to participate.

Please contact the Institute director, Professor Todd Lewis with further questions: