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. See a video syllabus for the course below:
Sects and Violence in East Asia (EALC 207/607)
Falun Gong. Aum Shinrikyō. The Unification Church. The names of these marginal religious movements have become household words, both in the countries of East Asia and throughout the world. What relationships between religious doctrine, media representation, and political power made this possible, and what historical events have made these groups (in)famous?
This course examines cases from Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam to examine the ways that authorities have designated certain movements as heterodox, how allegations of sexual impropriety have formed a key part of media representations of marginal religious movements, and how states and sects alike have wielded violence to protect their interests.
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
I’m gearing up for a trip to Alabama (my first time in the state) to deliver the 3rd annual Zachary Daniel Day Lecture at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. My talk, “The Buddhist Virtues of Raging Lust and Crass Materialism in Contemporary Japan,” is based on a forthcoming article with the same title (Material Religion, due out late 2015/early 2016). A short video abstract of the talk is below.