Methods in Buddhist Studies

I would like to thank Scott and Natalie for having very kindly edited a collection of essays as a festschrift. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the contributors to the collection as well.
The following is the post that Scott put on the Buddhist scholars listserve, H-Buddhism.
by Scott Mitchell

On behalf of my co-editor, Natalie Fisk Quli, I am pleased to announce the publication of Methods in Buddhist Studies, a festschrift in honor of Richard K. Payne, former Dean and current faculty member of the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

From the introduction:

“Payne’s work, albeit focused in large part on ritual and Japan, has enormous breadth. Richard has been interested in, has written and published on, has taught graduate seminars and organized symposia and conferences on topics from ritual to translation, psychology to history, the premodern and the modern, institutions and economics. He has been as concerned with Kamakura-era Buddhism in Japan as with the contemporary popularity of mindfulness meditation in the United States, Indian tantric Pure Land texts to contemporary Chinese homa rituals in California. As editor of numerous volumes himself, as well as the Institute of Buddhist Studies’ academic journal, Pacific World, he has worked with dozens of scholars across multiple subfields and disciplines. As a teacher, over nearly three decades at the Institute, he has advised countless students and followed their research interests across time and space. If we were looking for a singular scholarly approach, a scholar who has steadfastly focused their attention on a single research topic or method, Payne is not that scholar. And we, the beneficiaries of his work, are all the better for it.

“This breadth of interest—while a potential liability for an edited volume—is perfectly appropriate and in keeping with the central question; again, intellectual endeavors should be problem driven, and method follows from the question. Buddhist studies scholars, collectively, are engaged in a project to learn everything there is to know about the object of our study, Buddhism, and that “everything” cannot be captured by a single method. Payne’s interests have taken him far across the field of Buddhist studies, following questions, crossing boundaries, and charting territory other scholars fear to tread. To push this cartographical metaphor, the map of the terrain enriched by Payne’s travels has benefited all of us in our own travels through his various roles as editor, scholar, and teacher.

“Thus, it was only appropriate that we chose methods as the theme for this volume and invited a wide array of scholars—some colleagues, some former students—to contribute in honor of Payne’s work. Divided into four parts, the following chapters reveal a broad view of the tradition both historically and in the contemporary world, both in Asia and the West.”

The table of contents and contributors follow. Advanced order can be made via Bloomsbury press:

We hope that this volume will be of use for the field as a resource and point of critical self-reflection. We also hope that it is a fitting tribute to our mentor and friend, Richard.

Scott Mitchell and Natalie Fisk Quli

Table of contents:

Preface, Judith Berling

Introduction: On Maps, Elephants, and Buddhists, Scott A. Mitchell

Part 1: Historical Studies

1. When Food Becomes Trespass: Buddhism and the Kami in Local Economies, Lisa Grumbach

2. Making the Modern Priest: The Otani Denomination’s Proto-University and Debates about Clerical Education in the Early Meiji Period, Victoria R. Montrose

3. Taking the Vajrayana to Sukhavati, Aaron P. Proffitt

Part 2: Textual Studies

4. Yijing’s Scriptural Text about Impermanence (T. 801), Charles Willemen

5. Dualistic and Bifunctional Spirits: A Translation of the Oni no Shikogusa, Takuya Hino

6. A Note Concerning Contemplation of the Marks of the Buddha, Charles D. Orzech

Part 3: Ethnographic Studies

7. Buddhism, Consumerism, and the Chinese Millennial, Courtney Bruntz

8. Describing the (Nonexistent?) Elephant: Ethnographic Methods in the Study of Asian American Buddhists, Chenxing Han

Part 4: Theoretical Concerns

9. Is a Dazang jing a Canon? On the Nature of Chinese Buddhist Textual Anthologies, Charles B. Jones

10. Our Buddhadharma, Our Buddhist Dharma, Franz Metcalf

11. On Authenticity: Scholarship, the Insight Movement, and White Authority, Natalie Fisk Quli

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