27. Juni 2023, von AAI Redaktion
Foto: S. Licha
In recent scholarship, the formation of the "Asian world religion Buddhism" has commonly been studied as having occurred in a discursive space informed, or rather deformed, by Western colonial ambitions in Asia. Today's presentations seeks to go beyond this East/West axis and instead to consider how relationships between Asian Buddhist protagonists themselves impacted the modern map of the Buddhist world. The presentation focuses on the encounter between Sri Lankan and Japanese Buddhists from the 1870s onwards and consider its increasing institutionalization in trans-local networks as well as its transformation into a vehicle for Japanese imperial and colonial concupiscence from the mid-1890s onwards. I will argue that central to these developments was the conscious manipulation of confluences between Western scholarly and Eastern scholastic conceptual schemes, especially as they involve the Hīnayāna or "Small Vehicle" and its transposition from a doctrinal or textual into a political register. I will close by considering some of the ways in which the legacy of these developments still continues to haunt contemporary practitioners and scholars alike.
Stephan Kigensan Licha received his PhD from SOAS in 2012 and is a faculty member in the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He specializes in the intellectual history of East Asian Buddhism, with an emphasis on the tantric, Tiantai/Tendai, and Chan/Zen traditions during the pre-modern, and the global history of Buddhist modernism during the modern period. His monograph, Esoteric Zen: Zen and the Tantric Teachings in Premodern Japan is forthcoming with Brill, and he is currently completing a second monograph preliminarily entitled Amida in the Colonies.
The event will take place on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 6:15 to 7:45 pm
in room ESA-O 121 of the Asia-Africa-Institute (Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, East Wing).
The lecture is jointly organized by the Department of Japanese Studies and the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies.