Project Summary and Overview

Project Summary and Overview

"Diachronic and Synchronic Research of Japanese Buddhist: Challenges and Prospects of Inclusive, Multicultural Society"

On April 1st, 2015, Ryukoku University (est. 1639) launched the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures to develop its traditional Buddhist scholarship on a global scale.

In accordance with this objective, starting in the 2015 academic year the Research Center for Buddhist Cultures in Asia (BARC), its sub-organization, began a five year research project entitled "Diachronic and Synchronic Research of Japanese Buddhism: Challenges and Prospects of Inclusive, Multicultural Society" (a Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Strategic Research Foundation Grant-Aided Project for Private Universities).

Based on the cooperation of Ryukoku University and researchers inside and outside of Japan from a diverse set of fields, this project will elucidate the contemporary potential of Japanese Buddhism by reconsidering its doctrinal and historical development from new perspectives. It is comprised of two groups and four units:

  • Group 1's Unit A (The Formation and Development of Japanese Buddhism) will comprehensively make clear the formation and development of Japanese Buddhism's foundations while incorporating knowledge from not only philological research but also art history and cultural history scholarship.

  • Group 1's Unit B (Modern Japanese Buddhism and the World) will examine the international side of Japanese Buddhism from the Meiji period (1868-1912) to World War II.

  • Group 2's Unit A (Contemporary Japanese Buddhism: Society and the Public Good) will consider the meaning of Buddhism in society and the public sphere in contemporary Japan while drawing from the results of fieldwork.

  • Group 2's Unit B (Japanese Buddhism in an Inclusive, Multicultural Society: Challenges and Prospects) will consist of research on the ethics and practice of inter-religious dialogue as well as on gender-related issues in Japanese Buddhism.

  • These units are comprised of a total of nine sub-units. Some will be carried out independently, while others will proceed collaboratively. This project aims to both publicly release its research findings as well as craft an academic foundation for international research on Japanese Buddhism.