WORKSHOP> Summer Workshop on Tannishō Commentarial Materials (August 4-7, Otani University, Kyoto)

Michael Conway's picture

Dear Colleagues, 

The Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute at Otani University, together with the Centers for Japanese Studies and Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ryūkoku University’s Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures, announces the second in a series of workshops led by Mark Blum, Mitsuya Dake, and myself devoted to the critical examination of premodern and modern hermeneutics of the Tannishō, a core text of the Shin school of Buddhism, and arguably the most well-read religious text in postwar Japan.

This current workshop will be held from August 4 to 7, 2017, at Otani University in Kyoto. The first workshop was held successfully in March 2017 in Berkeley and succeeding workshops will continue until 2021, with meetings planned twice a year, in late March in Berkeley and early August in Kyoto, where it will be hosted alternately by Ōtani and Ryūkoku universities. Attendance at the first workshop is not a requirement for application to this one, but those who will be able to consistently attend through the course of the project will be particularly welcome.

Organized around close readings of the most influential materials produced in early modern and modern Japan, the workshop aims at producing a critical, annotated translation detailing the salient ways in which this text has been both inspirational and controversial, as well as a series of essays analyzing a wide spectrum of voices in Japanese scholarship and preaching that have spoken on this work.

The current workshop will focus on a careful reading of Edo-period commentaries by Enchi (1662), Jukoku (1740), Jinrei (1801-1808), and Ryōshō (1841). There will also be presentations by participants in the first workshop related to modern commentaries by authors such as Akegarasu Haya (1911), Chikazumi Jōkan (1930), and Soga Ryōjin (1947), as well as important themes within the Tannishō itself.

Format: The language of instruction will be primarily English with only minimal Japanese spoken as needed, and while the texts will be in primarily in classical Japanese and modern Japanese, with some outside materials in kanbun and English. Participants will be expected to prepare the assigned readings, and on occasion make relevant presentations in English.
Dates: August 4 to 7, 2017.
Cost: There is no participation fee, but in recognition of the distance some will have to travel to attend, a limited number of travel fellowships will be provided to qualified graduate students, based on preparedness, need, and commitment to the project.

Participation Requirements: Although any qualified applicant will be welcome to register, graduate students will be particularly welcome and the only recipients of financial assistance in the form of travel fellowships. Affiliation with one of the three hosting universities is not required. We welcome the participation of graduate students from outside of Japan with some reading ability in modern and classical Japanese and familiarity with Buddhist thought and culture, as well as native-speaking Japanese graduate students and non-native enrollees at Japanese institutitons with a scholarly interest in Buddhism. Although we hope that students will attend both meetings each year, participation in only one is acceptable.
Application Procedure: Applications must be sent for each workshop that one wants to participate in. To apply to register for the current workshop (August 4-7, 2017), send a C.V. and short letter explaining your qualifications, motivations, and objectives to Michael Conway, by June 1, 2017. Requests for travel fellowships should be included in your letter with specifics of where you will be traveling from. Please also state clearly in the application letter if you will need assistance in arranging for lodging in Kyoto during the workshop. Applications are by email only.

Questions about the content of the workshop should also be directed to the above address.

(Those who applied for the current workshop in January will be contacted separately to confirm intent to attend.)


Michael Conway

Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute

Otani University