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Religious studies professor delivers talk in Zurich

Associate Professor of Religious Studies Pamela Winfield participated in an international research symposium on "Vision and Visuality in Buddhism and Beyond" hosted by the University of Zurich.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies Pamela Winfield participated in an international research symposium on "Vision and Visuality in Buddhism and Beyond" hosted by the University of Zurich from Nov. 24-26. 

Joining 20 other scholars from leading American, European, and Taiwanese universities, Winfield delivered her latest research on "Material Theory, Visual Culture, and Dōgen's Vision for a New Zen Monastery." In her talk, she demonstrated that the Japanese Zen master Dōgen was not only inspired by the Chinese architectural and iconographic prototypes that he saw as a study abroad student in China from 1223-1227, but that he also leveraged Chinese material theory (including the five phases, yin yang theory, fengshui geomancy, and the luoshu "magic square") in order to envision a new kind of Buddhist temple layout back in Japan.  

Her textual, material and visual analysis is significant because it further advances the "material turn" in the field of religious studies, reclassifies several of Dōgen's fascicles as fundraising appeals (not just philosophical treatises), and recasts Dōgen as a down-to-earth and savvy institution-builder (not just a mystic enlightened Zen master).

Pamela D. Winfield,
Faculty
12/4/2016 10:50 PM