‘Neither Monk nor Layperson: Categories of Buddhist Leaders in Japan, Korea, and America’

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USC’s Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture presents “Neither Monk nor Layperson: Categories of Buddhist Leaders in Japan, Korea, and America” on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Asian Seminar Room (110C), Doheny Memorial Library, University Park Campus.

In Buddhism’s adaptations in the modern West, much has been made of trends in new categories of Buddhist leaders who occupy a place that is neither monastic nor fully lay, but something in-between. This workshop explores similar categories as found in historical and modern traditions in Asia and the West featuring the work of Professor Richard M. Jaffe. Comparative examples in Korea and the U.S. will be offered by Hwansoo Kim and Ann Gleig, respectively.

Ann Gleig is an associate professor of religion and cultural studies at the University of Central Florida. Her main research area is Buddhism in America and she is the author of “American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity” (Yale University Press, 2019). She is currently working on a collaborative book project with Amy Langenberg on sexual violations in American Buddhist communities under advance contract with Yale University Press.

Richard M. Jaffe is a specialist in modern Japanese Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University, where he also serves as director of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute. He is the author of “Neither Monk nor Layman: Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism” and “Seeking Śākyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism,” and the general editor for the four-volume “Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki.” He currently is preparing an edition of Suzuki’s 1952-1953 Columbia University seminar lectures on Zen Buddhism to be published by Columbia University Press.

Hwansoo Kim is an associate professor of Korean Buddhism and culture in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in the colonial history of Korean and Japanese Buddhism from Harvard University in 2007. He formerly taught in the Department of Religious Studies, with a joint appointment with the Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Department at Duke University (2009-2018) and in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of Arizona (2008-2009).

His present research concerns colonial, modern, and contemporary Korean Buddhism from a transnational perspective. He is the author of “Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2013) and “The Korean Buddhist Empire: A Transnational History, 1910-1945” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018).

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