This course will examine religious traditions originating in India, China, and Japan with a focus on specific regional contexts. It is often imagined that religious traditions take the same form over the world. In reality, religions are practiced on a local level where they are shaped by the politics, history, and folkways of the reigion. Through this regional approach, we will examine the way the texts, practices, and values of these traditions both change and are changed by the cultures they inhabit.
Field WorkCountry: Japan
This field lab will take us to the shrine district of Kamakura to observe a variety of Buddhist and Shinto shrines. Students will be able to see the inclusive nature of religious diversity in Japan. They will also be able to experience a form of multi-site pilgrimage in which Japanese pilgrims walk from shrine to shine, often visiting holy sites of multiple religious traditions. Academic Objectives: 1) Observe Japanese religious practices first hand 2) Observe the religious art and architecture of multiple traditions 3) Observe how multiple traditions coexist in Japanese religious practice