Pamela Winfield of the Department of Religious Studies presented two conference papers at the annual American Academy of Religion (AAR) conference in Baltimore, Md., on Nov. 25 & 26, 2013.
Her first paper, entitled “Zen Matters: Materiality and Mind in Dogen’s 13th Century Transmission Certificate,” headlined a panel on Buddhist Material Culture for the Japanese Religions Group within AAR. It argued that Dogen venerated this lineage scroll since it materializes, embodies and negotiates complex notions of historical and transhistorical enlightenment.
Winfield’s second paper, entitled “Image, Text, and Vision,” for the Buddhism Section of AAR focused on the nature and function of the so-called Two World mandalas of esoteric Shingon Buddhism in Japan. In this paper, she argued that the two paintings evoked Chinese ideal aristocratic and imperial architectures, and that they functioned not to enhance mystical deity yoga visualizations, but rather to initiate novices into their socio-policial roles protecting the state.