Following up on the “What Isn’t Shinto?” symposium that I hosted at Penn in September 2016, I wrote a comparative review for H-Japan about some trends in the Shinto studies field. I compared six books and organized them around 3 “big questions” about history, religion, and place/space.
You can read and download the review here; the PDF is also embedded below.
As of July 2017 I have formally moved from the department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations to the department of Religious Studies at Penn. The move allows me to do some teaching on religious studies-type topics that are not necessarily linked to East Asia. I will continue to work closely with my colleagues in EALC in fostering robust study of East Asia at Penn while also contributing what I can to the study of religion at Penn.
On that note, a few small announcements:
I’m on the planning committee for a series of events about religious freedom organized by Penn’s Center for Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism. We’ve worked hard on getting a great list of speakers together and we’re excited to have a year-long conversation on this contentious yet important subject.
I’m inaugurating a new course called “Violence, Tolerance, and Freedom” in Spring 2018 that looks at how the adjective “religious” has modified those nouns. The course should mesh well with the aforementioned speaker series.
I’m coordinating the Center for East Asian Studies Humanities Colloquium for 2017–2018. I’m working on extending invitations to faculty from across the U.S. working on a range of time periods and topics; we should have a fascinating year.
My latest piece is up over at Sacred Matters. This one is about some similarities between teaching the academic study of religion and teaching Japanese Popular Culture. I wrote it right as I was finishing up my Japanese Popular Culture class in Fall 2015.
My latest blog post is up over at Sacred Matters. A little more somber than my last piece on my embarrassing consumption habits, this one reflects on the ways that violent acts perpetrated by religious groups echo in transportation infrastructure.
While I was at the University of Alabama to deliver the 3rd annual Day Lecture last September, I sat down with Mike Altman to have a chat about my research in Japan and the state of the field. You can see the first part of our interview below and the second part after the jump.
I’m thrilled to report that a panel I’ve organized was accepted for the upcoming annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. The panel, called “What Isn’t Shintō?” is the first part of what I hope to be a longer-term project (stay tuned for more details). For now, see the panel abstract after the jump: Continue reading “What Isn’t Shintō?”
September 24 was a big day. I gave the annual Day Lecture at the University of Alabama and I had another blog post go up at Sacred Matters. This piece is my third for the online magazine, which has been a great outlet for some of my “fun” writing projects.
This particular piece is on Buddhism and capitalism. Like my forthcoming article in Material Religion it resists the easy move of saying that using Buddhism to market things is an affront to the tradition. You can read the post here.
I had a full and fulfilling day yesterday at the University of Alabama, where I delivered the 3rd Annual Day Lecture on religion and popular culture. One particularly interesting new experience was that of having my presentation live tweeted by a number of people in the audience. See the feed below: #Day2015 Tweets