Buddhism in crisis?

Buddhism in crisis?

Lagt inn den 07.sept. 2010 | ved Administrator som Foredrag | i biz Uio: Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum

Undertittel: "Institutional decline and the cultural transformation of temples in contemporary Japan".

Dear friends and colleagues,
we are happy to be able to present again an exciting program for the
Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum
in the current autumn semester 2010.

Dr Ian Reader, Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Manchester

will start the lecture series with his talk on

"Buddhism in crisis? Institutional decline and the cultural transformation
of temples in contemporary Japan"

This first lecture will take place on September 21st, PA Munch building,
Seminarrom 10 (ground floor), 16:00-18:00

In reports of the sectarian councils and meetings of several major
Buddhist sects in Japan in the past two years, one term keeps recurring:
kikikan  ‘a sense of crisis’ that hangs over Japanese Buddhism. It came up
also in many talks I had with Buddhist priests, officials and leaders in
my most recent field trip to Japan.  Buddhist temples are closing in large
numbers in rural Japan, while population decline and an ageing population
are eroding Buddhism’s  traditional economic support structures. In urban
Japan, a new funeral industry is beginning to eat into the monopoly
Buddhist temples long enjoyed in dealing with death and the ancestors –
the main areas in which the Japanese have engaged with Buddhism as a
household religion.   Even areas of popular practice linked to Buddhist
temples- such as pilgrimage- and once relied on to sustain temples through
difficult times, are not attracting the numbers of visitors that they did
a few years back.  For many temples (notably major pilgrimage sites) the
need to develop alternative support structures has led to an increasing
emphasis on  ‘heritage’ and tourism, while  increasingly  downplaying
‘religious’ issues- a pattern that has its own implications for the future
of Buddhism in Japan.

In this talk I outline the evidence that indicates the extent of this
crisis and the factors behind it, while examining various responses to it.
In particular I pay attention to what the longer term implications are for
Buddhism in Japan,  and whether we are perhaps seeing the beginning of the
death throes  of a major religious tradition.

Professor Reader's research interests centre around the study of religion,
especially in the modern day, and on Japan. His main focus is on using
studies of Japanese issues and topics to inform wider academic discussions
and studies of religion. His main areas of research are

* Pilgrimage in historical and contemporary contexts
* Contemporary religious dynamics and popular religious practices in Japan
* Religion, violence and terrorism
* Media and religion

 Kart som viser P.A. Munchs hus. 


Sted: PA Munchs hus, Seminarrom 10
Stedets adresse: Universitetet i Oslo, Blindern
Starter: 21.sept. 2010 - 16:00       Slutt: 21.sept. 2010- 18:00      Varighet: 2 timer
Ev. krav til deltagelse: Åpent for alle interesserte
Pris: Gratis

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