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.
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.
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’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.
Last Friday saw the publication of the first of a series of five articles I have been contracted to write for Sacred Matters (A Culture Magazine with a Religion Problem). I wrote about a 2012 visit to the Buddhist bar Vow’s in Nakano.
This week I had the good fortune to be invited to respond to an exchange between Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University) and Ed Brown (Stefanus Alliance International) hosted at the Norwegian PluRel blog. Hurd and Brown offered two very different takes on a meeting held in Oslo last month at which signatories representing several different nations signed a charter upholding their commitment to protecting religious freedom.