CFP> AAR 2018 Indian and Chinese Religions Compared Unit

Dan Lusthaus's picture
Apologies for X-posting
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
The CFP for the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting 2018 is now open. The “Indian and Chinese Religions Compared” unit of the American Academy of Religion invites proposals for the meeting in Denver, Nov. 17-20, 2018. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018. For more information, please see below, or visit <https://papers.aarweb.org/content/indian-and-chinese-religions-compared-unit>.
 
Best wishes,
 
Michael S. Allen, University of Virginia
Dan Lusthaus, Harvard University
 
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Call for Papers:
 
We invite papers on the following topics:
 
  • Yoga and Bodily Disciplines in India and China: We are taking the term “yoga” in a broad sense, to include bodily disciplines, hygienic regimens, inner alchemy, breathing techniques, body maps, pursuit of physical immortality, etc. Approaches can be historical, descriptive, theoretical, etc. The goal is to begin an informed exchanged of information between scholars working on Indian yogic traditions and those working on comparable practices in China. Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a single work, lineage, set of techniques, etc. from either India or China. 
 
  • Commentarial Techniques: As a continuation of last year's session on “The Art of Commentary,” we also invite submissions on commentarial techniques as found in India and/or China. How do commentators perform what they wish to accomplish? Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a single commentary or set of commentaries from either India or China.
 

Please note that individual paper proposals are preferred to full session proposals. Proposals should be submitted through AAR’s PAPERS system (https://papers.aarweb.org).

Venue:
American Academy of Religion, 2018 Annual Meeting, Denver, November 17-20.
 
Deadline:
Paper proposals are due by 5pm EST on Thursday, March 1. 
 
Questions?
Contact either of the co-chairs:
Michael S. Allen <msa2b@virginia.edu>
 
About the Unit:
The “Indian and Chinese Religions Compared” unit of the American Academy of Religion addresses two significant gaps in current scholarship on Chinese and Indian religious traditions. The first gap is in historical scholarship. India and China have been the two mother cultures of South Asia and East Asia. Historically, the two were connected through the transmission and transformation of Buddhism from India to China. This remarkably fruitful incorporation and assimilation of a foreign system of thought and cultural practice into another well-established civilization is one of the first of its kind in the human history of cross-cultural exchanges, especially at such a magnitude. Unfortunately, there has been inadequate scholarly attention paid to how Indian Buddhism — and its central Asian variants — introduced new issues and imaginations to the Chinese people and how the Chinese managed to appropriate the alien tradition into their own intellectual milieu, hence deeply enriching and reshaping indigenous Chinese culture. Second, we also seek to redirect some of the attention of the comparative study of religion and philosophy away from the default Western-centered approach. India and China are profoundly important civilizations, both historically and contemporarily. Despite the historical connection of Buddhism, the differences in their cultural products — whether religious, linguistic, philosophical, artistic, or material — are so striking that comparing them would highlight the true richness, plurality, and diversity of human creativity and cultural productivity.