Conference Annoucement: The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China

Jiang Wu's picture
April 6, 2016 to April 9, 2016
Arizona, United States
Subject Fields: 
Chinese History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Geography, Local History, Religious Studies and Theology

We are pleased to announce that Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona (Tucson) is organizing a conference on "The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China." Supported by generous funding from the Chiang Chingkuo Foundation and Su Wukang East Asia Research Fund, this conference aims to provide a new perspective to the “old question” of regionalism and localism in Chinese history, thus initiating a renewed research program of historical GIS and spatial analysis for achieving a more complete consideration of the role of religion in terms of regional formation. The conference, open to all, will be held on April 7 and 8 in Silver and Sage Conference Room at Old Main on campus. Please register through our website. In addition, two conference participants, Prof. Lewis Lancaster (ECAI Director, UC Berkeley) and Prof. Peter Bol (Vice Provost, Harvard University), will give separate lectures on Buddhist studies and online learning on April 6. Please visit our conference website at for details. We encourage our colleagues to spread the news by using the social media functions provided in the website.


The Formation of Regional Religious Systems in Greater China

April 7-8, 2016, Tucson, Arizona

The University of Arizona


Organizer: Department of East Asian Studies, College of Humanities, The University of Arizona

Funded by Chiang Chingkuo Foundation and Su Wukang East Asian Research Fund

Location: Silver and Sage Conference room, Old Main

1200 E University Bl

Tucson, AZ 85721

United States


Conference Program

Official Website:


Pre-conference Events


April 6, Wednesday

Buddhist Studies Lecture Series: Lewis Lancaster, Director of Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI), Emeritus Professor, UC Berkeley, Former president of University of the West

Location and Time: Kiva auditorium, Student Union, 4-5pm.

Topic: "The Past, Present, and Future of Buddhist Studies"  


April 6, Wednesday

UA community talk: Peter Bol (Vice Provost, Harvard University), “Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age,” sponsored and funded by College of Humanities, UA Vice Provost Office for Digital Learning and Student Engagement, Department of East Asian Studies, School of Geography and Development, and Confucius Institute.

Modern Language Auditorium, 7pm-9pm



Conference Schedule


April 7, Thursday

8:30 Opening Ceremony

Remarks by Dean Mary Wildner-Bassett, Department Head Albert Welter, and conference organizer Jiang Wu

9:00-9:15 Group Photo

9:15-10:15 Keynote Speech

Peter Bol, Harvard University: “On the Spatio-temporal Analysis of Religious Institutions – A Case Study”

10:15-10:30 Recess

10:30-12:00 Panel One: RRS and its Application

Jiang Wu, University of Arizona: “Further Thoughts on Regional Religious Systems (RRS): Theoretical and Methodological Issues”

Shuming Bao, University of Michigan: “The Spatial Study of Religion: Theories, Methodology, Data, Technology and Applications”

Jiang Wu and Daoqin Tong, University of Arizona: “Transforming William Skinner's Macroregions into Regional Religious Systems”

Response by Lewis Lancaster, UC Berkeley

12:00-1:00 Lunch and Recess

1:00-3:00 Panel Two: RRS in Medieval Buddhist China

Jinhua Chen, UBC: “Hidden Links: The Recovered Identity of An Obscured Buddhist leader in the Sixth Century and the Regional Religious Communities Surrounding him”

Christopher Jensen, McMaster University: “Mapping the Imaginaire of Early Medieval Chinese Buddhism: Regionalism and Patronage in Gaoseng zhuang and Xu gaoseng zhua

Jason Protass, Stanford University: “Towards a Regional History of Chan Buddhism”

Albert Welter, University of Arizona: “Marking Buddhist Sacred Space: The Aśoka Stūpa Cult in Wuyue and at the Court of Song Taizong”

Response by Lewis Lancaster, UC Berkeley

3:00-4:15 Recess

4:15-5:30 Panel Three: RRS in Early Modern Chinese Buddhism

Kaiqi Hua, UC Merced: “Local Patrons of Buddhist Canon Printing in the Hang-Jia-Hu Subregion During the Song-Yuan Period”

Weiran Zhang, Fudan University: “Regional Systems of Pilgrimages to Guanyin in the Yangtze Delta during the Ming-Qing Period”

Marcus Bingenheimer, Temple University: “ ‘Knowing the Routes of Pilgrimage’ - The Network of Pilgrimage Routes in 19th Century China”

Response by Lewis Lancaster, UC Berkeley

6:00-8:00 Dinner

8:00 Guests return to hotel (Lodge of the Desert)


April 8, Friday

8:30-10:00 Panel Four: Spatial Analysis of Contemporary Chinese Religion

George Hong and Jianfeng Jin, Purdue University Calumet: “The Spatial Study of Catholic Market in China”

Fenggang Yang and Jonathan Pettit, Purdue University: “Mapping Religions in Zhejiang, China”

I-chun Fan, Hsiung-ming Liao, Jr-Jie Jang, Joe Chen, Academia Sinica: “The Taiwan Religious Database and Case Studies by Using Geo-spatial Technologies”

Response by Lewis Lancaster, UC Berkeley

10:00-10:15 Recess

10:15-12:00 Panel Five: RRS Beyond China Proper

Karl Ryavec, UC Merced: “A Regional Systems Survey of the Early Spread of Bon and Buddhism in Tibet”

Nan Ouyang, University of Arizona: “Geostatistic Exploration of Religious Landscape: A Case Study of Buddhist Monasteries in Taiwan”

Kenneth Dean, McGill University: “Representing overlapping networks: Chinese Temples, Trade and Trust Networks Linking SE China and SE Asia”

Response by Lewis Lancaster, UC Berkeley

12:00-1:00 Lunch and Recess

1:00-2:00 Special Report on Maritime Buddhism Project by Lewis Lancaster:

“Maritime Buddhism: A New Look at Spatial-Temporary Study of Religion”

2:00-2:15 Recess

2:15-4:00 Training

5:30-6:30 Guest return to hotel

6:30-8:30 Farewell Banquet and reception (Lodge of the Desert): invitation only


Contact Info: 

Jiang Wu, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, The University of Arizona