2017 Field Visits 2018 Field Visits 2019 Field Visits

 

2019 Field Visits

To apply for one of the 2019 field visits, please use this APPLICATION FORM.

Cluster 1.2 Religion and Technology

Cluster Leader: Marcus Bingenheimer

Site: Dharma Drum, Jinshan, Taiwan

Dates: July 17–25, 2019

Languages: English (fluent) & Chinese (fluent or intermediate)

Summary: « Introduction to GIS and Aerial Imaging for Fieldwork »

In July 2019 the cluster « Religion and Technology » will be hosted at the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA). We will offer a hands-on workshop in GIS and Aerial Imaging for the study of religion. We will use the religious landscape of north-east Taiwan as an example, and explore how to use GIS data, satellite images, and self-produced aerial photography for research on religious culture. We will build on the data collected in a previous workshop held in 2017 to identify promising sites in Jinshan and Shimen districts, but with a new emphasis on the use aerial imaging for the study of religion on the regional and local levels.

Days will be spend in classroom sessions and (weather allowing) on site-visits. In the mornings, we will use open source software and data to build skills in geo-spatial methods; in the afternoons, participants will work in teams to visit different sites and landscapes; in the evenings teams will meet to organize the metadata for the data collected during the day.

The workshop is free of charge. DILA and the Chung-hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies have kindly agreed to provide food and dormitory style accommodation. Participants are expected to arrange their own travel to Dharma Drum arriving on 7/17 and leaving 7/25. As space is limited due to the limited number of cars available, participants are expected to commit to the whole program.

Expected Costs for participants (other than airfare): $0

 

Cluster 2.1 Authenticity and Authority

Cluster Leader: Jinhua Jia

Sites: Beizhen Temple 北鎮廟 and Mount Yiwulü 醫巫閭山 in Beizhen City 北鎮市, Liaoning Province 遼寧省, China

Dates: June 1–6, 2019

Languages: Chinese, English

Summary:

The field visits of Cluster 2.1 have been focusing on the historical sites of the traditional Chinese state sacrificial system dedicated to spirits of major mountains and waters, including Five Marchmounts 五嶽, Five Strongholds 五鎮, Four Seas 四海, and Four Waterways 四瀆, which formed a part of the most authoritative religious institutions in imperial China. Over two thousand years, the state ritual and belief have gradually integrated with other religious traditions such as Daoism and local cults. From the Jin dynasty onward, Daoists have been in charge of many of the state temples, taking part in or fully responsible for the sacrificial ritual. Local people have produced legends, stories, songs, deities, cults, and rituals related to the age-old mountain and water spirits. Temple fairs have continued and all kinds of popular religious activities such as offerings, worships, fortune telling, and spiritual possession are present in the fairs. These historical sites present a unique perspective to observe the transformation of traditional state sacrificial ritual and its integration with Daoist and popular religious culture.

Teams of Cluster 2.1 visited the Jidu Temple 濟瀆廟 (Temple of Ji River, one of the four waterways) and Mount Wangwu in 2017 and the Dongzhen Temple 東鎮廟 (Temple of Eastern Stronghold), Mount Yi, and nearby religious sites in 2018. The outcomes are two videos and about 600 stele inscriptions and images. Some participants wrote research articles based on the visits and some plan to write books on the two temples.

In 2019, Cluster 2.1 plans to visit Beizhen Temple (Temple of Northern Stronghold) located in Beizhen City of Liaoning Province, where the sacrifice to the spirit of Mount Yiwulü, another stronghold, has been held. The temple was first established in 594, and the present temple complex well preserves its Ming-dynasty building style. Many stone steles inscribed with important information of sacrificial rituals and other events are preserved in the temple, and there are some cliff inscriptions on Mount Yiwulü. The cluster will also visit Mount Haitang 海棠山, a branch of Mount Yiwulü, to investigate about 270 Buddhist Cliff Statues in 183 niches and about 50 inscriptions.

Expected Costs for participants (other than airfare): $330 CAD (private room) or $230 CAD (shared room)

 

Cluster 2.2 “Secondary” Producers, “Primary” Roles and Cluster 2.5 From the Canonical to the Post-Canonical

Cluster Leader: George Keyworth

Sites: Hangzhou; Beijing (Yunjusi 雲居寺); and Chaoyang city 朝陽市, Liaoning Province, China

Dates: July 2–12, 2019: July 2–3 in Hangzhou; July 5–8 in Beijing; July 10–12 in Chaoyang (12 days, including travel)

Languages: Advanced Chinese proficiency is required. Some instruction will be in English. No translation will be offered for the conference in Beijing.

Summary:

Cluster 2.2 “‘Secondary’ Producers, ‘Primary’ Roles” is tasked with investigating two questions: what roles did editors, scribes, translators, and readers play in canon-making of Buddhist literature in Chinese, and how did non-religious factors shape this process? The goals of cluster 2.2 are to identify, catalog, and examine where “secondary” production took place and which individuals, groups, or institutions played prominent roles in re-shaping the canon(s). In July 2019, students and researchers will investigate one key southern and two strategic northern Chinese sites where “secondary” production of the Buddhist canon took place during the 11th and 12th centuries. Several private copies of the Song Kaibao 開寶era state-sponsored, printed canon (983) were cut in Fuzhou 福州 and near Hangzhou 杭州, which included 1076 titles in 5048 rolls determined during the 8th century. Discourse records (yulu 語錄), so-called lamp histories (dengshi 燈史), and other compendia from the nascent Chan tradition 禪宗not included in the canon were printed in Hangzhou and traveled a ‘book road’ to Japan, where many rare editions of popular Chan literature were preserved in the libraries of prominent Zen temples in Kyoto (Kennninji 建仁寺 and Tōfukuji 東福寺) and Kamakura (Kenchōji 建長寺). In north China under Khitan Liao and Jurchen Jin rule, the Song Kaibao era canon was copied and supplemented with [Tang and Song dynasty] commentaries especially to the Huayan jing 華嚴經 (Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra), ritual manuals, new [Song] translations, and certain Chan texts; Tang scriptures carved in stone were augmented at Fangshan 房山 (Yunjusi, Beijing) and dhāraṇī- 陀羅尼 sūtras were carved on to pillars of great pagodas (e.g., Chaoyang Beita 朝陽北塔).

The goal of cluster 2.5 “From the Canonical to the Post-Canonical” is to address the question: how can we promote critical, textual analysis of East Asian Buddhist texts by cross examining manuscript, printed, and editions carved in stone? Because the Taishō Canon most often consulted today is based upon the Second Koryŏ Canon (13th century), and the Koreans received and esteemed Liao and Jin editions with supplemental texts, we are reading and following the Buddhism of the so-called Conquest Dynasties. Furthermore, because editions from the Fangshan Stone Scriptures 房山石經and other sites in north China complement Tang dynasty manuscript editions of texts found at Dunhuang and in old Japanese manuscript canons, there are two textual Buddhist traditions in Chinese: Tang, Japanese, Liao, Jin, and Korean canonical literature with supplemented commentaries and ritual texts contrasted with the rich Chan literature that traveled the ‘book road’ to Japan, primarily from Hangzhou.

In order to concurrently address the research questions and goals of clusters 2.2 and 2.5, researchers and students will first spend two days in Hangzhou, where we will visit the Hangzhou Buddhist Academy, the research library at Zhejiang University, and contemporary temples where Chan texts, compendia, and especially poetry collections were printed and dispatched to Japan (examples of Gozan literature 五山文学). We will host a workshop by leading researchers at Zhejiang and Fudan universities who are updating and enhancing groundbreaking studies of Chan books preserved in Japan by Yanagida Seizan 柳田聖山, Shiina Kōyū, and Chikusa Masaaki. Then we will travel to Beijing, where we will attend a one-day conference on the study of Liao, Jin, and Tangut Buddhist canons and literature, followed by a detailed workshop on the Fangshan Stone Scriptures at Yunjusi, which includes several recently discovered Chan texts. Finally, we will meet in Chaoyang city, Liaoning province, to investigate the inscriptions on the Liao dynasty North Pagoda to consider how Tang Buddhist practices and customs were perpetuated and reinforced in northeast Asia during the 11th and 12th centuries, while far to the south in Hangzhou a different tradition of Chinese Buddhism was ushering in a new age.

Participants will join those from cluster 3.2 for several days in Beijing at Yunjusi and at the conference, “Stone Carved Scriptures, Belief, and Religious Life: Buddhist Social Life and Rare Texts at Yunjusi.”

Scholars and students who attend this project will learn how to work with and study printed, manuscript, and stone editions of Buddhist texts, negotiate access to guarded materials, photograph or scan texts, and prepare metadata to include images in a database hosted at UBC. An introduction to reading character variants, colophons, or other marginalia to determine textual lineages will be provided.

Expected Costs for participants (other than airfare): $575 CAD (Hangzhou); $1425 CAD (Beijing & Chaoyang, Liaoning)

 

Cluster 3.2 Historical Reality through the Reflections between Image and Text: Northern Dynasties Buddhism and Beyond

Cluster Leaders: Kai Sheng and Dewei Zhang

Sites: Yunjusi 雲居寺, Fayuansi 法源寺, and National Library of China in Beijing, China

Dates: July 1–8, 2019

Languages: English (fluent) & Chinese (fluent or intermediate)

Summary:

In July 2019, the cluster “Historical Reality through the Reflections between Image and Text” will be hosted in Beijing with events comprising field trips, lectures and workshops. This cluster is tasked with investigating two questions: how pictorial and epigraphic material can supplement or even correct our text-based knowledge? And how and to what extent can effective use of texts, images, and epigraphic materials improve our understanding of historical contexts? This year, as an expansion of our former investigations of Northern Dynasties stone caves and temples in Henan and Hebei, we will focus our attention on Beijing and concentrate on Yunjusi 雲居寺 and the remarkable heritage of the Fangshan stone scriptures 房山石經.

Participants are expected to arrive on July 1st and to attend lectures the following day to familiarize themselves with the research questions and learn how to prepare metadata. There will be a field trip to Yunjusi on July 3rd and a lecture that night. On July 6th, once again, we will take a field trip to Yunjusi to investigate the temple and the scripture caves on Mount Shijing 石景山, and have a lecture that night. We will go return to the city of Beijing the next day and visit Fayuansi 法源寺, where rubbings of the Fangshan stone sūtras are preserved, and the National Library of China, where rare versions of printed Buddhist texts are preserved. That night, a gathering will be organized to share our experiences with each other. In conjunction with clusters 2.2 and 2.5, we will hold a two-day symposium on “Stone Carved Scriptures, Belief, and Religious Life: Buddhist Social Life and Rare Texts at Yunjusi.” Participants will depart on July 8th. Participants will receive a wide range of training, from how to collect epigraphical materials, cross-examining texts with other kinds of editions, to disclosing the historical contexts, narratives, and data that may lie hidden in materials such as colophons or even the use of rare characters in stone-cut editions.

These events are jointly sponsored by the Center for Morality and Religion at Tsinghua University and Beijing Fangshan Yunju Temple Antique Management Office. Support is also provided by the SSHRC Partnership Project, From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions and the project “History of Social Life Chinese Buddhist monks,” a major project funded by the Chinese National Social Science Fund.

Expected Costs for participants (other than airfare): $600 CAD

 

Cluster 3.3 Texts in Statues

[this visit has been cancelled for 2019 and will be rescheduled during Phase 2 of the project]

Cluster Leader: James Robson

Sites: Changsha and Lengshuijiang, Hunan Province

Dates: September 21–28, 2019

Languages: Chinese and English

Summary:

The main goal of the “Texts in Statues” cluster is to identify, catalogue, and study statues from China, Korea, and Japan with manuscripts and texts that have been interred inside of them. Included in the scope of this project will be statues in situ in Asia as well as those in museums in Asia or abroad. As part of the foundational preparatory work for this project researchers in each area will be charged with compiling an annotated bibliography of: 1.) Primary sources (canonical and extra-canonical) that describe the interment of material inside of statues; 2.) Academic studies of known statues containing manuscripts and texts; and 3.) Mentions of the interment of texts in other historical or literary sources. The goal of this phase of the project is not necessarily to produce a bibliography, but rather use that material to identify key locations that we know have statues with interred materials. Fieldwork in China, Korea and Japan will then be aimed at identifying published, unpublished, and/or unattested statues with materials inside of them and establish contacts with local scholars who work on those materials. The final stage of the project will entail the study of the materials found inside the statues, the convening of a conference on the topic, and the publication of volume of essays that provides an authoritative study of statues with texts inside of them throughout East Asia.

This is the 3rd year of Cluster 3.3’s activities in Asia. In the previous two years we have held small conferences/workshops and site visits in Korea (2017) and Japan (2018). We will now move to China and hold a two-day event in Changsha, at the Hunan Provincial Museum, and then travel to the countryside (Lengshuijiang) to participate in and study a statue consecration ritual. The workshop in Changsha will consist of a day and a half conference, with talks during the first morning by scholars who participated in the Korea visit in 2017 and the Japanese scholars who participated in the 2018 cluster work (in order to share their work with the Chinese scholars), and the afternoon and following morning will include talks by Chinese scholars working on materials in China and by specialists of the Hunan statues in particular. The reason for choosing that venue is that museum has over 1,000 statues with contents in its storage room that we will have access to. During the second day of the conference we will be able to visit the storage room with the conference attendees to view and discuss the statues (and their contents) in that collection. Those statues and their documents are primarily from the 18th-20th century. After the conference concludes we will travel to Lengshuijiang in order to go out into the countryside to observe two rituals over a two-day period. The first ritual will be a ritual that we commission for the full consecration of a statue. The second day will include the viewing of another ritual. The time period when we will be carrying out our research in Hunan is one when many local rituals are held in Lengshuijiang and the region. These contemporary rituals are hybrid religious rituals that involve Daoist, Buddhist, and local religious elements. This year’s Cluster will focus on the technical aspects of how to remove manuscripts from statues, prepare the paper, and do high quality digital scans. We will also discuss photographing the statues (particularly those with inscriptions on their pedestals). In addition to the work on the statues in the storage room of the museum, our attendance at a statue consecration ritual will include training on how to take fieldwork notes on the ritual performance, video and photograph the ritual, interview ritual masters and local scholars, and how to preserve all of the ritual manuals and other ephemera used in the ritual. This year Cluster 3.3 will be co-lead by James Robson (Harvard Univ.) and Alain Arrault (EFEO).

Expected Costs for participants (other than airfare): $575 CAD

 


2018 Cluster Visits

Cluster 1.1 From Oral to Digital

Cluster Leaders: Yinggang Sun, Jinhua Chen

Site(s): Jinci Temple晋祠 in Shanxi province: With a Focus on the Stone Scripture of the 80-fascicle Huayan jing 八十卷本華嚴經

Dates: July 20-25, 2018

Language of Instruction: Reading knowledge of classical Chinse is necessary. Some English instruction will be provided. Otherwise, all instruction will be in Chinese.

Summary: The stone scriptures at Yunju monastery 雲居寺 (or Fangshan 房山石經) are justifiably famous, and well-studied, particularly by scholars in China. Most scholars are far less aware of the stone scriptures of the 80 fascicle Huayan jing carved in 699 at the Jinci. Not only are these scriptures material evidence of the tremendous role the sole female emperor of China, Wu Zetian 武則天 (r. 690-705), played in supporting Buddhism, but they also speak to the special place of the new translation of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra by Śikṣānanda 実叉難陀 (652-710). This cluster workshop will investigate the Huayan jing at Jinci from the perspective of the adoption of new media: the transition from manuscripts to early printing. When print took hold amid a strong and enduring culture of manuscripts, this is not unlike our current adoption of blogs, WeChat, and other social media outlets, which are replacing online platforms and newspapers. To address this comparative media approach, the group will study the Jinci Huayan jing stone scriptures alongside digital copies of manuscripts and later printed editions of the Huayan jing to examine the role of authority in establishing and disseminating knowledge through various media. Philological matters concerning different recensions of the text will also be addressed.

Sites of fieldwork for this cluster include various locations important for the production of East Asian religious sources of different media, including Beilin Museum碑林博物館, religious epitaphs around the Wutai area, and religious materials on different media stored at the Jinci Temple 晋祠 in Taiyuan. But the principal focus will be on the 80-fascicle Huayan jing carved on the stone pillars preserved at Jinci. Participants will work closely with scholars, museum curators, and field visit supervisors.

This cluster project examines ways in which we still need to investigate early examples of the transition from manuscript to print and the development of a range of technologies and reading techniques in premodern Asia may inform our understanding of the current global transition from print to digital media. We will focus on transformations in the culture of writing and reading in East Asia as a “distant mirror” (in the words of the European medievalist Barbara Tuchman) to reflect on current developments in the digital humanities and our changing relationships to texts.

Jinci Temple晋祠 is an essential site where we can address the transition from manuscript to print culture at a special moment and place in medieval China.

Student participants will be trained to take photos of the stone epitaphs, to prepare rubbings of the stone texts, to read the stone inscriptions using different methodologies, and to compare epigraphic sources with relevant sources presented through other media, especially in manuscript and print. Physical details will be registered of the stones documented, ideally with an eye to their original placement at the site.

Costs for participants are expected to be around $550 CAD (in addition to airfare).

Cluster 1.2 Religion and Technology

Cluster Leader: Marcus Bingenheimer

Time: Aug.1-8, 2018 (arr. July 31, dep. Aug. 9th)

Place: National University of Singapore, Department of Chinese Studies, Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture

Introduction to Social Network Analysis for the Study of Buddhism and East Asian Religions

As part of the project « From The Ground Up: Buddhism & East Asian Religions » (https://frogbear.org/) under the leadership of Jinhua Chen, and in collaboration with the Chung-hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies and the National University of Singapore I welcome applications for a workshop on historical social network analysis in East Asian Religion.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a method that is widely used in the social sciences, but that so far has had relatively little impact in the Humanities. Nevertheless, SNA has great potential for the study of religion both in history and the contemporary period. Its use allows us to discover new patterns in the way actors associate and interact. Innovative perspectives that bring to light unexpected structures can confirm or contradict our intuition of what was afoot in a given network. In the study of Asian Religion we now start to see the kinds of datasets emerging that allow the application of SNA. This workshop is an introduction to the methodology of SNA, current SNA datasets for the study of Asian Religion, and the software tools to work with them. The bilingual workshop (English-Chinese) is aimed at scholars of East Asian Religions, faculty and graduate students. There are no prerequisites beyond fluency in English and Chinese, but participants will have to bring their own computers and know how to use them.

After the workshop participants will be able to (1) understand basic SNA measurements and metrics, (2) use Gephi for the visualization of social networks, and (3) know how to use and access existing SNA datasets for the study of East Asian religion and history.

The workshop is free of charge. The Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture at NUS will provide free housing (double rooms) for graduate students. Faculty participants are asked to make their own arrangements.

This workshop can allow only a limited number of participants, and attendees are expected to stay for the duration of the whole course.

Please see the cluster’s results here – http://sna2018.mbingenheimer.net/

Cluster 2.1 Authenticity and Authority

Cluster Leader: Jinhua Jia

Site: Dongzhen Temple 東鎮廟 in Weifang City 濰坊市, Shandong Province, China

Dates: May 18-23, 2018

Language of Instruction: English and Chinese

Summary:

After the first field visit in 2017, the cluster has decided to focus its field visits on traditional state sacrifice to major sacred mountains and waters, which was systematized as Wuyue五嶽 (Five Marchmounts), Wuzhen 五鎮 (Five Stronholds), Sihai 四海 (Four Seas), and Sidu四瀆 (Four Waterways). In 2018, we will investigate the religious site of Dongzhen Temple (Temple of Eastern Stronghold) in Weifang City of Shandong. The temple was first built in the Song dynasty and preserves about 100 steles from the Yuan-Ming-Qing period. This is one of the two only remaining temples of the traditional state sacrifice to the mountains of Five Strongholds. We will also visit Mount Yi 沂山 (Mount Dongzhen or Eastern Stronghold) and other nearby religious sites, as local people still worship the spirit of the mountain today.

Like the cluster’s first field visit in 2017, the 2018 field visit seeks to respond the question of how have concerns with identifying “major religious traditions” and “genuine” authors affected perceptions of authority and canonicity and to provide a unique opportunity to address when, where, and who has defined authoritative and authentic religions in China.

The visit comprises three steps. The first step is a half-day workshop, in which experienced and local experts will introduce the religious-historical context and current condition of the site, as well as the method and purpose of the visit. The second step is to visit Dongzhen Temple, Mount Yi, and other nearby religious sites. Investigations of the visits include the architectural styles of the sites, the legacy of state sacrifices to the mountain, stele inscriptions on sites, and current local religious beliefs and activities related to the temple. The third step is an initial processing of the collected data.

The general schedule is to do field visit in the morning, and to input the collected data in the afternoon.

Costs are estimated at 250 RMB/day for lodging and meals. Group transportation will be provided during the visit.

Cluster 2.2 “Secondary” Producers, “Primary” Roles

Cluster Leader: George Keyworth

Site(s): Haeinsa 海印寺, Tongdosa 通度寺, Pulguksa 佛國寺 (and Sŏkkuram 石窟庵), Hwaŏmsa 華嚴寺, and Songgwangsa 松廣寺. Archival or museum field work: National Museum of Korea, Dongguk University Central Library, and Horim Museum.

Dates: July 11-21, 2018

Languages of Instruction: English-language instruction with guest lectures / presentations in Korean, with English translation.

Summary:

Cluster 2.2 will accomplish two separate but related research goals in Korea in July 2018. First, we will continue to address two research questions for cluster 2.2: what roles did editors, scribes, translators, and readers play in canon-making of Buddhist literature in Chinese, and how did non-religious factors shape this process? We will, therefore, identify, catalog, and examine where “secondary” production took place and which individuals, groups, or institutions played prominent roles in re-shaping the canon(s). Researchers and students will take field trips to several Buddhist monasteries in South Korea—Haeinsa 海印寺, Tongdosa 通度寺, and Pulguksa 佛國寺—that have played seminal roles in propagating the printed Buddhist canon(s) in classical Chinese in East Asia (1st and 2nd Korean canons, a.k.a. “Tripiṭaka Koreana” 高麗大藏經, ca. 10th-14th centuries). Yet Koreans continued to produce manuscript editions of religious literature and privately printed documents, which have received very little attention outside Korea. Working with Korean colleagues especially at Dongguk University, we will also visit several museums and archives (National Museum of Korea, Dongguk University Central Library, and Leeum Museum) with precious, but severely understudied, examples of manuscripts and extra- or non-canonical printed works to investigate the role(s) Koreans played in producing and reproducing texts that circulated on the continent and in Japan. Special consideration will be given to the first printed Korean canon and extant copies from Korean canons in Japan (e.g., the Kitano Tenmangū shrine 北野天満宮 in Kyoto).

The second research goal will address aspects of clusters 2.5 and 1.1 to investigate the preservation of the 60- and 80-roll translations of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra 華嚴經 (Kor. Hwaŏmgyŏng, T nos. 278-279). Cluster 1.1 is inspecting the 80-roll translation by Śikṣānanda carved in stone in 699 at Jinci 晉祠 in China. We will investigate the rock-cut Hwaŏmgyŏng at Hwaŏmsa 華嚴寺, which legend holds date back to the founding of the monastery by Ŭisang 義湘 (625-702) in 677 (probably 725). The stones were traditionally stored in the Kakhwangjŏn 國皇殿, but they were severely damaged during the invasions by Toyotomi Hideyoshi 秀吉豊臣 (1592-1598). There is a transformation tableau of Śikṣānanda’s 80-roll Hwaŏmgyŏng at Songgwangsa 松廣寺, which shows how this seminal translation influenced Buddhists in Korea. Comparative analysis of these editions with manuscript editions from the Shōsōin 正倉院 in Japan demonstrates that alternative editions of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra may have been used in Korea and Japan, and shows that considerable attention needs to be given to the preservation and continued use of scriptures outside China. A conference in China with cluster 1.1 will present some of this new research.

Costs for participants are expected to be around $2000 CAD (in addition to airfare).

Cluster 3.2 Historical Reality through the Reflections between Image and Text: Northern Dynasties Buddhism and Beyond

Cluster Leader: Kai Sheng

Site(s): Ye Cheng(邺城),Xiangtangshan(响堂山), Xiaonanhai(小南海),Hebei province, China

Dates: July 16-19, 2018; symposium July 20-21, 2018

Languages of Instruction: Chinese and English

Summary:

We will explore extant cave sites in Hebei and Henan provinces, where stone scriptures were carved in premodern Chinese history. We will focus on stone Buddhist sūtras, images, and inscriptions from the Northern Dynasties period (ca. 386-534) at Xiangtangshan 響堂山, Xiao Nanhai 小南海, and Xiangquan monastery 香泉寺 in the Yecheng 鄴城 area. The workshop will compare stone scriptures and other epigraphical evidence with Dunhuang documents from the Northern Dynasties that have recently received special attention within and outside China. Participants in this cluster will, therefore, engage in comparative research looking at manuscript and inscriptions of early Buddhist literature in northern China. Some significant manuscripts and epitaphs will be documented and subjected to scrutiny, both on site and after the field visits.

This composite research project carefully examines Buddhist history, thought, faith, institutions, state support, and social activities during the Northern Dynasties period. The primary focus of our research concerns material evidence of the Dilun 地論 (Shidi jinglun 十地經論, T no. 1522, 6th century translation of the Daśabhūmi-vyākhyāna-śāstra) during the Northern Dynasties period. Collated Dilun documents from many sources and media show complicated and nuanced relationships between documents and images, as well as how to creatively reconstruct certain important aspects of East Asian religious history through cross-referencing and collating across sources.

Costs for participants are expected to be around $400 CAD (in addition to airfare).

Cluster 3.3 “Texts in Statues”

Cluster Leader: James Robson

Site(s): Japan

Dates: June 21-24, 2018 (visit June 21, 22; symposium June 23, 24)

Language of Instruction: Japanese proficiency is required. There will be no translation assistance due to budgetary constraints.

Summary:

The main goals of the “Texts in Statues” cluster are to identify, catalogue, and study all statues from China, Korea, and Japan with manuscripts and texts that have been interred inside of them. Included in the scope of this project will be statues in situ in Asia as well as those in museums in Asia or abroad. As part of the foundational preparatory work for this project researchers in each area will be charged with compiling an annotated bibliography of: 1.) Primary sources (canonical and extra-canonical) that describe the interment of material inside of statues; 2.) Academic studies of known statues containing manuscripts and texts; and 3.) Mentions of the interment of texts in other historical or literary sources. The goal of this phase of the project is not necessarily to produce a bibliography, but rather use that material to identify key locations that we know have statues with interred materials. Fieldwork in China, Korea and Japan will then be aimed at identifying published, unpublished, and/or unattested statues with materials inside of them and establish contacts with local scholars who work on those materials. The final stage of the project will entail the study of the materials found inside the statues, the convening of a conference on the topic, and the publication of volume of essays that provides an authoritative study of statues with texts inside of them throughout East Asia.

The first year of the project was held in South Korea and the second year will be held in Japan. We will be teaming up with Professors Abe Yasuro and Chikamoto Kensuke at Nagoya University to carry out field visits to temples and museums and then run a small conference/workshop. The study of objects inside of Buddhist statues (zōnai nōnyūhin 像内納入品) is well developed in Japan so we are hoping that the conference will allow us to become further acquainted with the most recent research and publications on the topic by Japanese scholars. The material from Japan is essential to understanding the pan-Asian phenomena of putting objects inside of statues since the evidence is so abundant and relatively easy to access. While much material is available in publications, it is our hope that we will also be able to use this field visit to see objects and their contents in situ or in person.

In this project the participants (scholars and graduate students) will learn how to work with museum and temple collections, negotiate access to proprietary material, procure images of Buddhist statues, and scan or photograph unique texts and manuscripts interred inside of the statues. The provisional research questions motivating this project are concerned with what types materials are found within Buddhist statuary (donative texts, Buddhist sūtras, and extracanonical materials); how does that material add to our knowledge about (or challenge previous research on) East Asian Buddhism; how can the new material be used in conjunction with other types of sources; and why were certain types of texts put inside of statues (were they chosen for a specific reason or not?).


2017 Cluster Visits

Cluster 1.1 From Oral to Digital

Cluster Leader: Yinggang Sun

Site Visit: Mount Wutai 五臺山, and several famed sites in Shanxi 山西 that are significant for Buddhist arts and cultures.

Dates: July 20-29, 2017

Summary: This cluster project examines ways in which the transition from manuscript to print and the development of a range of technologies and reading techniques in pre-modern Asia may inform our understanding of the current global transition from print to digital media. We will focus on transformations in the culture of writing and reading in East Asia as a “distant mirror” (in the words of the European medievalist Barbara Tuchman) to reflect on current developments in the digital humanities and our changing relationships to texts.

One major goal of this 10-day visit is to visit, collect, make rubbings and take photographs of, and digitize the rich stone religious inscriptions on Mount Wutai and neighboring areas.

Cluster 1.2 Religion and Technology

Cluster Leader: Marcus Bingenheimer

Site Visit: Dharma Drum Mountain, Jinshan, Taiwan

Dates: June 5-16, 2017

Summary: This field visit will be drawing on the rich religious environment of Shimen county in Northern Taiwan to conduct a technology training workshop for faculty and students. Approximately half of the time will be spent visiting sites and collecting data, the other half of our time we will be spending on understanding digital tools to turn that data into information.

The theme of the first field visit of this cluster will be “Space and Cyberspace”. The first week will be an introduction to the use of GIS in the study of Chinese Religion using QGIS. Data gained from geo-referencing temples, shrines, and tombs in situ will be combined with data from public and historical records to map a religious landscape. The data gathered in field visits can e.g. be used in a case study to corroborate public data on religious sites, and show how accurate or complete the official data is. Historical data allows for diachronic mapping of the region. The second week will focus on the representation of religious spaces in cyberspace (Google Earth, Google Street View, Youtube, Virtual Worlds, immersive environments etc.). We will explore the use of such technologies for classroom teaching and research.

After the workshop participants will be able (1) to create maps for use in publications in print and online, (2) to create and collect geographical information from various online platforms, and (3) to integrate these skills into their teaching.

This field visit will train both experienced researchers and grad students in the digital representation of space, something that is not generally part of our training in Asian Studies. The data collected on the ground will be compared with existing digital datasets, reminding us how provisional and incomplete our digital models still are. This issue – the gap between the actual record and the digital information available – is rarely discussed, but will become increasingly important as more research relies on digital information.

Map of Religious sites created by the cluster:

To learn more, visit the Space and Cyperspace website by clicking here.

Cluster 2.1 Authenticity and Authority

Cluster Leader: Jinhua Jia

Site Visit: Jidu temple 濟瀆廟 and Mount Wangwu 王屋山 in Jiyuan 濟源市, Henan province, China

Dates: May 25 – June 3, 2017

Summary: This field visit will investigate two religious sites in the city of Jiyuan. The first is Jidu temple, the only remaining temple of traditional state sacrifice to rivers (sidu 四瀆: Yellow river 黃河, Yangzi river 長江, Huai river 淮河, and Ji river濟水). The second is Mount Wangwu, one of the Daoist sacred mountains. This field visit seeks to respond the question of how have concerns with identifying “major religious traditions” and “genuine” authors affected perceptions of authority and canonicity and to provide a unique opportunity to address when, where, and who has defined authoritative and authentic religions in China.

The visit comprises three steps. The first step is a one-day workshop, in which experienced and local experts will introduce the religious-historical context and current condition of the two sites, as well as the method and purpose of the visit. The rest of the first week will be spending on a comprehensive investigation of Jidu temple, including architectural style of the site, the legacy of state sacrifices to the river god, and stele inscriptions on site. The second week will be spending on Mount Wangwu, investigating architectural style of Daoist abbeys, pre-modern material cultural evidence, stele inscriptions, and contemporary practices of Daoist priests at abbeys.

By investigating two sites in Henan province, one Daoist, the other a rare example of traditional Chinese state religion, researchers in this cluster seek to realign the narrative of the history of Chinese religion with two definitive, often overlooked, groups who significantly shaped the definitions of authentic and authoritative religion in East Asia. While traditional Chinese state religion has been largely disregarded by contemporary traditions-based definitions of religion in China (e.g., Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism), many Daoist sites are overlooked due to over-emphasis upon either early or late Chinese Daoism. Jidu temple is the only remaining state sacrifice temple to rivers. On site, 72 buildings from the Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties with more than 8,000 m2 and 100 steles are preserved. Nowhere else can researchers access such a rare example of traditional Chinese state religion. Mount Wangwu is one of the most important—though little studied—sacred Daoist sites with tangible links to Tang dynasty state patronage (the first of the ten Grotto Heavens 洞天) and dissemination of Daoist literature projects. Today, it is a unique site for researchers to interact with contemporary Daoist priests, monasticism, and ritual services, as well as the living architecture of modern Chinese Daoism. This field visit will train graduate students in field study of Chinese religions. It is important to the cluster’s theme of redefining “Authenticity and Authority.” It also contributes to the project with rich new data in this regard.

Please see the Cluster 2.1 field visit report, prepared by Liu Jie (Zhejiang Ocean University), and also the report Jiyuan: landscape, inscriptions and the past prepared by Barend J. ter Haar (Oxford University).

Cluster 2.2 “Secondary” Producers, “Primary” Roles

Cluster Leader: George Keyworth

Dates: May 29 – June 9, 2017

Site Visit: Myōrenji 妙蓮寺, Matsuo Taisha 松尾大社, Furitsu sōgō shiryōkan 京都府立総合資料館; Eizan bunko 叡山文庫, Miidera 三井寺 [園城寺], Ishiyamadera 石山寺; Possibly Amanosan Kongōji 天野山金剛寺 or Daigoji 醍醐寺.

This cluster is tasked with investigating two questions: what roles did editors, scribes, translators, and readers play in canon-making of Buddhist literature in Chinese, and how did non-religious factors shape this process? The goals of cluster 2.2 are to identify, catalog, and examine where “secondary” production took place and which individuals, groups, or institutions played prominent roles in re-shaping the canon(s). During the summer of 2017, researchers and students will take field trips to several sites in Kyoto where the Matsuo shrine canon is currently held (Myōrenji 妙蓮寺 and Furitsu sōgō shiryōkan 京都府立総合資料館) and where is was produced (Matsuo shrine 松尾大社). We will also visit Tendaishū 天台宗 sites in Shiga prefecture 滋賀県 where the Matsuo scriptures were copied from (Miidera 三井寺, Eizan bunko 叡山文庫), and one (or two) other temples with twelfth-century manuscript canons of their own (Shingonshū 真言宗: Ishiyama-dera 石山寺 and Amanosan Kongōji 天野山金剛寺 or Daigoji 醍醐寺).

In order to reach our goals [to identify, catalog, and examine where “secondary” production took place and which individuals, groups, or institutions played prominent roles in re-shaping the canon(s)], during the summer of 2017, researchers in this cluster will closely examine the case of the Matsuo shrine canon, the Tendai provenance of its extant scriptures, and comparatively well studied Old Japanese manuscript canons at adjacent sites such as Ishiyama-dera, Amanosan Kongōji, or Daigoji. These manuscript canons are not only invaluable resources that complement manuscripts from the continent (Dunhuang) in terms of philological research. They are also first-hand testimony of medieval Japanese Buddhist monastics, shrine priests, aristocrats, and scribes who (re-) shaped the content of the East Asian Buddhist canon for specific, local purposes. By visiting specific sites where (re-) production took place and these materials are preserved today, the group will obtain first-hand experience with physical manuscripts, how to handle them, and how to read and interpret colophons.

Cluster 2.5 From the Canonical to the Post-Canonical

Cluster Leader: Toshinori Ochiai

Site Visits: 1) Nanatsu-dera 七寺, Kongōji 金剛寺, and Kōshōji 興聖寺; 2) Iwayaji 岩屋寺

Dates: July 27 – August 2, 2017

Summary: This cluster intends to establish digital editions and textual searching system of many texts from the Japanese manuscript collections of Chinese Buddhist texts, especially focusing on monastic biographies and scriptural catalogues. To achieve this aim and assist our cluster members to investigate their targeted Buddhist texts in different versions that we have access to, during the summer of 2017, this cluster plans to organize fieldtrips to visit the following Japanese monasteries in which hand-copied manuscript and printed canons are preserved. The targeted collections include: 1) Manuscript canons preserved in Nanatsu-dera 七寺, Kongōji 金剛寺, and Kōshōji 興聖寺; 2) Woodblock printed canon that was produced in Song dynasty (960-1276) and is currently preserved in Iwayaji 岩屋寺.

The goals of this cluster are designed to exploit the huge potential of Japanese manuscript resources to have Duanhuang and Japanese manuscripts complement and complete each other, and finally to advance the further and long-term development of critical, textual analysis within the study of East Asian Buddhism. To serve such a purpose, visiting those traditional Buddhist sites where manuscript and printed canons are preserved, conducting on-the-spot investigations and collecting firsthand information are the factors essential to the success of this project.

Cluster 3.2 Historical Reality through the Reflections between Image and Text: Northern Dynasties Buddhism and Beyond

Cluster Leader: Kai Sheng

Site Visit: Luoyang 洛陽, Shaolin monastery 少林寺, Henan Province, China

Dates: July 30 – August 8, 2017

Summary: This field visit will be focused on Luoyang 洛陽 and more specifically, Shaolin monastery 少林寺, in Henan province, in central China. We will hold a conference about Buddhism during the Northern Dynasties at Shaolin monastery (see https://frogbear.org/call-for-papers-conference-on-the-shaolin-temple-and-buddhism-under-the-northern-dynasties/) . Shaolin monastery is not only one of the most famous temples in China because of its long history and its central role in the legendary transmission narrative of Chan Buddhism, but also because of abundant materials related to the history of martial arts, such as stela housed within the pagoda and on site. We will stay at the monastery for five days. We will spend approximately half of this five-day period discussing the history of the temple, contemporary life in the monastery, and some of the central tenets of Chinese Buddhism during the Northern Dynasties. The other half of the time will be spent taking a tour of Shaolin monastery and another temple, Yongtai si 永泰寺. We will collect data on site and instruct participating students and researchers how to interpret these valuable sources. On 3 August, we will leave to visit the two grotto complexes 石窟 at Gongxian 巩縣 and Longmen 龍門, respectively. We will collect data of stela and images at these grottoes and compare and contrast these data with public and historical records.

This field visit will contribute to the project’s mentoring goal by training both experienced researchers and graduate students in how to understand the relationship between manuscripts, stela, and images. The data collected on the ground will be subjected to intensive reading in comparison with textual sources, both published and unpublished, and public and private. Finally, the digitalized data of these stela, inscriptions, and images—especially from Shaolin monastery and Kongxian and Longmen grottoes—will enrich this project’s database.

Cluster 3.3 Texts in Statues

Cluster Leader: James Robson

Site Visit: Seoul (Aug 11-12) and visits to monasteries in local towns and cities to see pokchang objects (Aug 13-15)

Dates: August 11-16, 2017

Summary: The main goals of the “Texts in Statues” cluster are to identify, catalogue, and study all statues from China, Korea, and Japan with manuscripts and texts that have been interred inside of them. Included in the scope of this project will be statues in situ in Asia as well as those in museums in Asia or abroad. As part of the foundational preparatory work for this project researchers in each area will be charged with compiling an annotated bibliography of: 1.) Primary sources (canonical and extra-canonical) that describe the interment of material inside of statues; 2.) Academic studies of known statues containing manuscripts and texts; and 3.) Mentions of the interment of texts in other historical or literary sources. The goal of this phase of the project is not necessarily to produce a bibliography, but rather use that material to identify key locations that we know have statues with interred materials. Fieldwork in China, Korea and Japan will then be aimed at identifying published, unpublished, and/or unattested statues with materials inside of them and establish contacts with local scholars who work on those materials. The final stage of the project will entail the study of the materials found inside the statues, the convening of a conference on the topic, and the publication of volume of essays that provides an authoritative study of statues with texts inside of them throughout East Asia.

The first year of the project will include a trip to South Korea to work with Korean colleagues on developing a comprehensive database of all images in Korea with texts interred inside of them. The main focus, given the overall aims of this project, is going to be on the texts inside of the statues. One of the main goals of field visits is to try to identify and gather new material that will allow us to generate new research. Given how little is known about the topic of this cluster it is not possible to state at the outset what will be found. In addition to whatever we might be able to collect as part of the archival work, it will also be pertinent to assess current practices or icon animation through the interment of materials in statues.

While there are many individual research reports on individual Korea Buddhist images with contents (texts, images, etc.) inside of them, there is as yet (to our knowledge) no comprehensive database of all currently known statues with texts interred inside of them. The material from Korea is essential to understanding the pan-Asian phenomena of putting objects inside of statues. There are also many attested cases of statues circulating within Asia and containing texts from other countries. The Seiryōji image is perhaps the most famous example of this type, since it originated in Taizhou in China. In this project the participants (scholars and graduate students) will learn how to work with museum and temple collections, negotiate access to proprietary material, procure images of Buddhist statues, and scan or photograph unique texts and manuscripts interred inside of the statues. The provisional research questions motivating this project are concerned with what types materials are found within Buddhist statuary (donative texts, Buddhist sūtras, and extracanonical materials); how does that material add to our knowledge about (or challenge previous research on) East Asian Buddhism; how can the new material be used in conjunction with other types of sources; and why were certain types of texts put inside of statues (were they chosen for a specific reason or not?).