Pamela Winfield presents research at two international Zen conferences

Winfield presented her research on 13th century Japanese Zen master Dogen.

Professor of Religious Studies Pamela Winfield’s research on 13th century Japanese Zen master Dogen has been featured at two international Zen conferences within a year.

Pamela Winfield, professor of religious studies

In late February 2020, right before the pandemic-related lockdown, Winfield delivered a paper in French at the Song Dynasty Chan conference at the College de France in Paris, where she obtained positive feedback from European and Japanese scholars from Komazawa University, a co-sponsor of the event. Then in late January 2021, Winfield delivered a related paper in English at the New Directions in Zen Studiesinternational Zoom conference hosted by Stanford University. This conference featured leading scholars mostly from R1 institutions (Stanford, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Duke, Florida International University, Elon), and it was attended by other leading scholars from Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia, and all over the US.

Her two papers demonstrated how Dogen invokes and manipulates Chinese material theory (essentially the physics of his day) to justify and obtain the material and human resources he needed for two temple building campaigns in 1233 and 1244.