LECTURE> Professor Lucia Dolce, What Is Japanese Medieval Buddhism? New Perspectives from Tantric Ritual Material. The Eastern Buddhist Society Seminar Series, Tuesday, December 6th.

John LoBreglio Discussion

What Is Japanese Medieval Buddhism?

New Perspectives from Tantric Ritual Material


Date and Time:  Tuesday, December 6th, 18:00〜19:30 (Japan)

Venue:  Online via Zoom

Speaker:                   Professor Lucia Dolce

(SOAS, University of London)


The scholarly understanding of medieval Japanese Buddhism has greatly changed in the last two decades. The centrality of esoteric Buddhism, and its influence on other forms of Buddhism in particular, has forcefully come to the fore. However, little has been done to map out what specific terms characterised esoteric Buddhism in the medieval period (11th–16th centuries) and how distinct its development was in comparison to earlier articulations. This talk is an attempt to sketch out these trends from a ritual perspective, drawing on sources of diverse provenance, both published and recently unveiled from temple archives. The discussion will focus on initiatory rituals that were created anew in the medieval period and spread across lineages. These practices highlight the reformulation of crucial esoteric concepts in performative and visual terms and point to a more complex relation than is usually understood, with continental (i.e. Indo-Tibetan) Tantric Buddhism opening new avenues to rethink medieval Japanese Buddhism within a larger Asian context. 


Notes: The Lecture will be in English.

※Please access the lecture from the URL listed below.

The lecture medium will be a Zoom video webinar.




About the EBS

The Eastern Buddhist Society (EBS) was founded by D. T. Suzuki, Beatrice Lane Suzuki, Sasaki Gesshō, Akanuma Chizen, and Yamabe Shūgaku, with the main purpose of communicating the meaning and significance of Buddhism to the West. Since its founding, the Society has published an English-language journal, The Eastern Buddhist.