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  1. CONFERENCE> Shugendo Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara, June 19-20, 2017

CONFERENCE> Shugendo Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara, June 19-20, 2017

by Andrea Castiglioni

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June 19, 2017 to June 20, 2017
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Religious Studies and Theology, Japanese History / Studies
Dear H-Japan Members,
We are pleased to announce that the University of California, Santa Barbara, will host the international conference "Repositioning Shugendō: New Research Directions on Japanese Mountain Religions" (June 19 and 20, 2017). Organized by Carina Roth, Andrea Castiglioni, Fabio Rambelli, and Kawasaki Tsuyoshi.
For the schedule and list of participants, see http://www.eastasian.ucsb.edu/shugendo/

About the Conference

This conference aims at reconsidering the study of Shugendō through a historico-religious perspective, in contrast with the currently dominant ethnological approach. The participants will discuss doctrinal and practical interactions between Shugendō and other religious traditions such as Onmyōdō (“Way of Yin and Yang”), Shintō, and Esoteric Buddhism, in order to situate Shugendō within the broader Japanese religious mindscape. In particular, the influence of Shugendō not only in relation to sacred mountains (as it is mostly done), but also to rural areas and urban centers will be addressed. Moreover, the nature of “mountain religion” in general shall be problematized as a complex set of diverse phenomena involving not only Shugendō specialists, but also members of other religious traditions and even non- affiliated laypeople. The ultimate objective of the conference is to lead to a thorough reconfiguration of the sacred cultural geography of Shugendō. In detail, papers will focus on the following themes: (i) Visual, literary, and artistic strategies related to En no Gyōja, the legendary founder of Shugendō, as mechanisms of reinvention of the past and establishment of authority through texts, images, and symbols; (ii) sacred mountains located in peripheral areas such as Togakushi and Yudono, or Mt. Fuji (which was the place of practice for non-Shugendō mountain ascetics as well); (iii) networks involving Shugendō practitioners and other religious figures such as itinerant ascetics or lay members of religious confraternities (kō), as a way to bring to the fore the complex systems of alliances, competitions, and collaborations that always characterized Shugendō institutions.

Contact Info: 
Andrea Castiglioni
University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies.
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