HistArt / Asian
Buddhas and Bodies: Icons of the Ideal in Japanese Religious Art
This course examines the history of Japanese religions through the visual arts. Sculpture, painting, and architecture serve as the primary sources for our exploration of Buddhism, kami worship, and Christianity. We will also draw extensively on primary and secondary textual sources. The content of this seminar depends in large part on the interests of the particular students who will take the class, but discussions will likely engage with many social and religious issues, including religious conceptions of the body, the relationship between politics and religion, the nature of icons and miracles, conceptual mapping, sectarianism, and the tension between ideal and the "real." Although this class assumes no prior background in Japanese religious or art history, students who have worked in Japanese studies and language will be encouraged to apply their specialist knowledge to the final paper for the class. However, those who have no particular training in these fields should still be able to participate fully in all aspects of the course.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $50.