Table of Contents
- NEW BOOK> Right Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan, by Jacqueline Stone
- CFP> Yogacāra Studies Unit at AAR 2017
- QUERY> Postwar Sales and Distribution of Buddhist Canon Sets
- CONFERENCE> Symposium on The Body, Emotion, and Trauma: Contemplative Practice Across Cultures (March 3, 2017)
NEW BOOK> Right Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan, by Jacqueline Stone
by Charles MullerRight Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan
By Jacqueline I. Stone
University of Hawai`i Press
616pp. November 2016
Cloth - Price: $68.00ISBN: 978-0-8248-5643-4
DescriptionBuddhists across Asia have often aspired to die with a clear and focused mind, as the historical Buddha himself is said to have done. This book explores how the ideal of dying with right mindfulness was appropriated, disseminated, and transformed in premodern Japan, focusing on the late tenth through early fourteenth centuries. By concentrating one’s thoughts on the Buddha in one’s last moments, it was said even an ignorant and sinful person could escape the cycle of deluded rebirth and achieve birth in a buddha’s pure land, where liberation would be assured. Conversely, the slightest mental distraction at that final juncture could send even a devout practitioner tumbling down into the hells or other miserable rebirth realms. The ideal of mindful death thus generated both hope and anxiety and created a demand for ritual specialists who could act as religious guides at the deathbed. Buddhist death management in Japan has been studied chiefly from the standpoint of funerals and mortuary rites. Right Thoughts at the Last Moment investigates a largely untold side of that story: how early medieval Japanese prepared for death, and how desire for ritual assistance in one’s last hours contributed to Buddhist preeminence in death-related matters. It represents the first book-length study in a Western language to examine how the Buddhist ideal of mindful death was appropriated in a specific historical context.
Practice for one’s last hours occupied the intersections of multiple, often disparate approaches that Buddhism offered for coping with death. Because they crossed sectarian lines and eventually permeated all social levels, deathbed practices afford insights into broader issues in medieval Japanese religion, including intellectual developments, devotional practices, pollution concerns, ritual performance, and divisions of labor among religious professionals. They also allow us to see beyond the categories of “old” versus “new” Buddhism, or establishment Buddhism versus marginal heterodoxies, which have characterized much scholarship to date. Enlivened by cogent examples, this study draws on a wealth of sources including ritual instructions, hagiographies, doctrinal writings, didactic tales, courtier diaries, historical records, letters, and relevant art historical material to explore the interplay of doctrinal ideals and on-the-ground practice.
Studies in East Asian Buddhism Series
by Charles DiSimonePosting for Roy Tzohar:
The Call for Papers for the Yogācāra Studies Unit at the AAR annual meeting, 2017, is now open. Proposals should be submitted through the AAR’s PAPERS [https://papers.aarweb.org]
system.The deadline for submission is Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
The call is enclosed :
The Yogācāra Studies section welcomes proposals for papers sessions, individual papers,
and roundtables . At this year's Business Meeting, a number of proposals were put forward. We welcome submissions for these panels as well as suggestions for other topics.
We generally devote our dedicated session to discussion of a particular text. Suggestions for the texts included:
• Selected passages from the Triṃśikā and Its Commentaries. Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Roy Tzohar: email@example.com.
Other possible texts are:
We also hope to co-chair a panel with another unit. Suggestions for such panels include:
• Yogācāra and Meditation (Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Karin Meyers at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Yogācāra in the World: Social and Political Dimensions (Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Eyal Aviv at: email@example.com)
• Yogācāra and popular Culture (Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Cat Pruitt, at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Yogācāra and Philosophy of Language
• Yogācāra and Philosophy of Mind
Other topics are welcomed. We look forward to receiving your proposals
With best wishes,
John Powers & Roy Tzohar
Co-chairs Yogācāra Studies unit
by Gregory Adam ScottDear colleagues,
I am finishing up final edits for a chapter on the Pinjia Canon (Pinjia jingshe jiaokan da zangjing 頻伽精舍校刊大藏經, Shanghai: 1908-1913) and was wondering if there are any approximate numbers on the number of full sets of the East Asian Buddhist canon that have been sold or distributed in the past ~70 years. I am only interested in printed sets, such as the Zhonghua da zangjing 中華大藏經 (1982), reprint editions of the Taisho, or even the recent reprint of the Pinjia canon itself, rather than CD copies of CBETA or other electronic editions.
I am thinking perhaps someone who has studied contemporary Buddhism in East Asia might have done some digging and come up with some rough figures as to how many full sets have been sold to private owners and to libraries.
Any leads or references would be greatly appreciated, either as replies to this post or via email. Thanks!
Dr Gregory Adam Scott 史瑞戈
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Edinburgh (-August 2017)
Lecturer in Chinese Culture and History, University of Manchester (Sept. 2017-)
CONFERENCE> Symposium on The Body, Emotion, and Trauma: Contemplative Practice Across Cultures (March 3, 2017)
by Daniel StuartDear Colleagues,
Anyone in the New England area is welcome to join us for a symposium on The Body, Emotion, and Trauma: Contemplative Practice Across Cultures (March 3, 2017) at Brown University's Cogut Center for the Humanities.
Speakers include: Willoughby Britton, Brown University; Julia Cassiniti, Washington State University; Laurence Kirmayer, McGill University; Anne Klein, Rice University; Jared Lindahl, Brown University; Geoffrey Samuel, University of Sydney and Cardiff University, emeritus; Daniel Stuart, University of South Carolina; and David Treleaven, California Institute of Integral Studies.
Additional information on the conference can be found here: https://www.brown.edu/academics/humanities/events/conferences-and-symposia/body-emotion-an...
This event is supported by a collaborative research grant from the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation in Buddhist Studies and the American Council for Learned Societies, and is co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities.