Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts C225

This year's seminar will examine the formation of the major Buddhist traditions in Japan from the seventh through twentieth centuries. There will be reviews of the premodern and modern source material, both in their original linguistic form (Japanese and Chinese) and in terms of Western-language scholarship, but the required readings for the course will be entirely in English. Class discussions will focus on how the authority of traditions were established, legitimated, and defined in the ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern/postmodern periods. The nature of Buddhist Studies scholarship in modern Japan and its relationship to these traditional forms of faith, study, practice, and sectarianism will also be included. The readings will proceed chronologically, and each student will be expected to pick, in consultation with the instructor, a week (or two, depending on enrollment) in which s/he will present on that week’s readings.