Kyoto Lectures 2022 - Stephan Licha - Doxographies of Empire: The Imperial Transformation of Japanese Buddhist Thought

Online, 14 dicembre 2022   18:00 JST
Online su Zoom   Meeting ID  859 5662 4382
The argument that "Buddhism" as the "Eastern World Religion" is a Western colonial construct is widely accepted. What has received less attention is that also the Japanese encounter with non-Mahāyāna forms of Buddhism during the 19th century occurred in a space structured by Empire. Taking as primary example the reception of the Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition in Japan, the speaker will show how the unprecedented entwinement of Western scholarly and Eastern scholastic perspectives occasioned a re-interpretation of traditional East Asian Buddhist doxographies into tools for articulating a justification for Japanese imperial expansion. Eventually, Japanese Buddhists would claim for their tradition to be the sole repository of the authentic Buddhist teachings as a whole. Through the efforts of the likes of Takakusu Junjirō, these doxographies eventually reached Western Buddhologists and continued to cause havoc in the discipline well into the 20th century.