Publications

2014
Poets and Pilgrims: From Saigyō to Shikoku”
Harding J. Poets and Pilgrims: From Saigyō to Shikoku”. In: Landscape and Travelling East and West: A Philosophical Journey (Hans-Georg Moeller and Andrew Whitehead, eds.). London: Bloomsbury Academic; 2014. WebsiteAbstract
Philosophical reflections on journeys and crossings, homes and habitats, have appeared in all major East Asian and Western philosophies. Landscape and travelling first emerged as a key issue in ancient Chinese philosophy, quickly becoming a core concern of Daoism and Confucianism. Yet despite the eminence of such reflections, Landscape and Travelling East and West: A Philosophical Journey is the first academic study to explore these philosophical themes in detail. Individual case studies from esteemed experts consider how philosophical thought about places and journeys have inspired and shaped major intellectual and cultural traditions; how such notions concretely manifested themselves in Chinese art, particularly in the genres of landscape painting and garden architecture. The studies present a philosophical dialogue between Confucianism and Daoism on issues of social space and belonging and include discussion on travel and landscape in Buddhism as well as Japanese and Tibetan contexts. Approaching the topic from an inter-cultural perspectives, particularly East Asian philosophies, and using these to enrich contemporary reflections on space, the environment, and traversing, this unique collection adds an important voice to present philosophical, political, and cultural discourses. - See more at:http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/landscape-and-travelling-east-and-west-a-philosophical-journey-9781472509239/#sthash.kszviwlj.dpuf
Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada
Harding JS, Hori VS, Soucy A. Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press; 2014. WebsiteAbstract
When Sasaki Sokei-an founded his First Zen Institute of North America in 1930 he suggested that bringing Zen Buddhism to America was like "holding a lotus against a rock and waiting for it to set down roots." Today, Buddhism is part of the cultural and religious mainstream. Flowers on the Rock examines the dramatic growth of Buddhism in Canada and questions some of the underlying assumptions about how this tradition has changed in the West. Using historical, ethnographic, and biographical approaches, contributors illuminate local expressions of Buddhism found throughout Canada and relate the growth of Buddhism in Canada to global networks. A global perspective allows the volume to overcome the stereotype that Asia and the West are in opposition to each other and recognizes the continuities between Buddhist movements in Asia and the West that are shaped by the same influences of modernity and globalization. Flowers on the Rock studies the fascinating and ingenious changes, inflections, and adaptations that Buddhists make when they set down roots in a local culture. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Buddhism, religious life in Canada, and the broader issues of multiculturalism and immigration. Contributors include Michihiro Ama (University of Alaska), D. Mitra Barua (University of Saskatchewan), Paul Crowe (Simon Fraser University), Melissa Anne-Marie Curley (University of Iowa), Mavis Fenn (University of Waterloo), Kory Goldberg (Champlain College), Sarah F. Haynes (Western Illinois University), Jackie Larm (University of Edinburgh), Paul McIvor (independent), James Placzek (University of British Columbia), and Angela Sumegi (Carleton University). - See more at: http://www.mqup.ca/flowers-on-the-rock-products-9780773543386.php?page_id=106288&#!prettyPhoto
hardinghorisoucyflyer.pdf
2013
The Study of Religion: A Reader
Harding JS, Rodrigues HP. The Study of Religion: A Reader. London: Routledge; 2013. WebsiteAbstract
This collection illustrates the spectrum of ideas that people throughout history have had when considering how to understand and study religion. The editors present a selection of key writings that reflect a broad range of voices on the nature and practice of the discipline. Religious studies draws on works by anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, theologians, and others, which notably impact our understanding of the concept of religion, of particular religious ideas, and on how religion should be studied. The Study of Religion: A Reader contains both classic and contemporary perspectives, including material from non-Western traditions. It provides students of religion with an understanding of how the discipline developed, some of the current issues and lines of thought, as well as future prospects. Introduction Part One: The Discipline: Its History and Fundamental Perspectives Part Two: The Older Strata: Early, Classic, or Foundational Writings A. Philosophy and Theology B. Classic Social Scientific Perspectives (Sociological and Anthropological) C. Classic Phenomenological and Psychological Perspectives Part Three: The Newer Strata: Contemporary Voices in the Scholarly Study of Religion A. Contemporary Philosophy, Theology, and/or Religious Studies B. Contemporary Social Scientific Perspectives (Sociological and Anthropological) C. Contemporary Phenomenological and Psychological Perspectives Part Four: The Discipline: Contemporary Practices and Positions A. Critical Stance for Secular Study of Religion B. Positions and Practices in the Discipline Part Five: Religious Studies: Prescriptions and Prospects A. Disciplinary Boundaries B. Religious Studies in the Academy. "What sets The Study of Religion: A Reader apart is not only its scope, the inclusion of influential contemporary readings, and its discussion questions, but also that it includes critiques of the field and invites readers to take them seriously as well." - Russell T. McCutcheon, University of Alabama, USA "I can think of no better selection of scholarly texts with which to introduce students to the breadth of approaches to the academic study of religion. Like its complementary volume, Introduction to the Study of Religion, this balanced collection of old and new is guided by pedagogy rather than ideology." - Michel Desjardins, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada "The Study of Religion is an excellent reader—a thoughtful and creative selection of works on religion and ritual from a variety of disciplinary, historical, and cultural perspectives. It will give students in particular a clear sense of why religion still matters to our understanding of the social world. Highly recommended." - Matthew Engelke, London School of Economics , UK "In this volume the editors have collected a set of absolute ‘must-reads’ for anyone interested in religion and the study of it. The contributions range wide across time and academic disciplines. Harding and Rodrigues are to be commended for having assembled with an open mind a broad scope of essays, leaving space for positive voices as well as for those critical and sceptical." - Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
study_of_religion-_a_reader.pdf
2012
“Buddhism in Canada”
Harding JS, Hori VS, Soucy A. “Buddhism in Canada”. In: 2600 Years of Sambuddhatva: Global Journey of Awakening. Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka; 2012. Website
Studying Buddhism in Practice
Harding JS. Studying Buddhism in Practice. London: Routledge; 2012. WebsiteAbstract
This book introduces the rich realities of the Buddhist tradition and the academic approaches through which they are studied. Based on personal experiences of Buddhism on the ground, it provides a reflective context within which religious practices can be understood and appreciated. The engaging narratives cover a broad range of Buddhist countries and traditions, drawing on fieldwork to explore topics such as ordination, pilgrimage, funerals, gender roles, and film-making. All the entries provide valuable contextual discussion and are accompanied by photographs and suggestions for further reading. Introduction 1. Coronation at Kōyasan: How One Woman Became King and Learned About Homeland Security and National Health Care in Ancient Japan Pamela D. Winfield 2. Buddhism through the Lens: A Study of the Study of Buddhism through Film Lina Verchery 3. Voice and Gender in Vietnamese Buddhist Practice Alexander Soucy 4. Feasting for the Dead: Theravāda Buddhist Funerals Rita Langer 5. Buddha for Our Time: Images of a Sri Lankan Culture Hero John Clifford Holt 6. Shifting Signposts in Shikoku Pilgrimage John S. Harding 7. From Texts to People: Developing New Skills Mavis L. Fenn 8. Merit, Gender, and Theravāda Buddhist Practices in Times of Crisis Monica Lindberg Falk 9. Encounters with Jizō-san in an Aging Japan Jason A. Danely 10. Amitābha’s Birthday and Liberation of Life Paul Crowe 11. Preaching as Performance: Notes on a Secretive Shin Buddhist Sermon Clark Chilson 12. The Insides and Outsides of a Tibetan Buddhist Ritual on the Outskirts of Sujātā Village James B. Apple 13. Practicing the Study of Buddhism: Cross-Cultural Journeys and Renewed Humanism in the History of Religions William R. LaFleur "This volume assembles interesting and colorful pictures of Buddhism as actually practiced by ordinary and ordained people alike. The first-person narratives by long-term specialists draw the reader into sites such as towns and villages, temples and pagodas, funeral grounds and pilgrimage treks. The informative accounts underscore the cultural diversity of Buddhist practices and the importance they hold for the practitioners." - Martin Baumann, University of Lucerne, Switzerland "This text stands out with its unique dual focus on Buddhist practices and on the practices of those who study Buddhism. Readers will learn much from the contributors’ descriptions of an array of Buddhist rituals and frank reflections on the scholarly methods they have deployed in their fieldwork around the world." - Christopher Ives, Stonehill College, USA and author of Imperial-Way Zen "In less than 200 pages, this book succeeds in achieving its aims, providing a pioneering and rich account of contemporary Buddhism around the world. Its pedagogical value is clear, but the book’s worth is more than that of a teaching tool. This publication will certainly attract the attention and interest of specialists of Buddhism and, more broadly, sociologists of religion who will also be interested both in the diversity and complexity of Buddhism across different contexts and in the interdisciplinary dimension of the study of religious phenomena that this book illustrates and promotes." – Florence Galmiche, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France
studying_buddhism_in_practice.pdf
2010
Wild Geese: Buddhism in Canada
Harding JS, Hori VS, Soucy A. Wild Geese: Buddhism in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press; 2010. WebsiteAbstract
Buddhism has been practiced in Canada for more than a century and in recent years has grown dramatically. Immigrant communities construct temples in Canada's urban centres, the Dalai Lama is one of the world's most recognizable figures, and Buddhist ideas and practices such as meditation, vegetarianism, and non-violence are increasingly a part of mainstream culture. More native-born Canadians are turning to Buddhism now than ever before. The most comprehensive study of Buddhism in Canada to date, Wild Geese offers a history of the religion's evolution in Canada, surveys the diverse communities and beliefs of Canadian Buddhists, and presents biographies of Buddhist leaders. The essays cover a broad range of topics, including Chinese, Tibetan, Lao, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Buddhisms, critical reflections on Buddhism in the West, census data on the growth of the religion, and analysis of the global context for the growth of Buddhism in Canada. Presenting a sweeping portrait of a crucial part of the multicultural mosaic, Wild Geese is essential reading for anyone interested in religious life in Canada. Illustrations • xiTables • xiiiConventions (Romanization and Use of Diacritics) • xvAcknowledgments • xix Introduction • 3 PART ONE: OPENINGSHow Do We Study Buddhism in Canada? • 12Victor Sogen Hori Asian Reformers, Global Organizations: An Exploration of the Possibility of a “Canadian Buddhism” • 39Alexander Soucy PAR T TWO: HISTORIES AND OVERVIEWSLooking East: Japanese Canadians and Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, 1905-1970 • 62Terry Watada Buddhism after the Seventies • 84Henry C . H . Shui Buddhism in Canada: A Statistical Overview from Canadian Censuses, 1981-2001 • 111Peter Beyer PART THREE: FROM GLOBAL TO LOCALJodo Shinshu in Southern Alberta: From Rural Raymond to Amalgamation • 134John S . Harding That Luang: The Journey and Relocation of Lao Buddhism to Canada • 168Marybeth White Transforming Ordinary Life: Turning to Zen Buddhism in Toronto • 187Patricia Q . Campbell The Woodenfish Program: Fo Guang Shan, Canadian Youth, and a New Generation of Buddhist Missionaries • 210Lina Verchery Shambhala International: The Golden Sun of the Great East • 236Lynn P. Eldershaw PART FOUR: FROM LOCAL TO GLOBALGlobalization and Modern Transformation of Chinese Buddhism in Three Chinese Temples in Eastern Canada • 270Tannie Liu The Tzu Chi Merit Society from Taiwan to Canada • 295André La Liberté and Manuel Litalien A Relationship of Reciprocity: Globalization, Skilful Means, and Tibetan Buddhism in Canada • 321Sarah F. Haynes PART FIVE: LIVESAlbert Low: A Quest for a Truthful Life • 348Mauro Peressini Suwanda H.J. Sugunasiri: Buddhist • 377Victor Sogen Hori and Janet McLellan Conclusion • 400Bibliography • 407Contributors • 431Index • REVIEWS: "This very welcome study of Buddhism in Canada fills a gap in current scholarship and brings some order to an unsystematic field of current research." CHOICE "Wild Geese has an abundance of information that has been unavailable until now. The volume is provocative. It asks questions that are both stimulating and critical and the answers provided will immensely impact the currently emerging inquiries about Buddhism in Canada. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Buddhism. It is a deep breath in, and a deep breath out." Charles Prebish, Redd Chair in Religious Studies, Utah State University "Wild Geese critically deconstructs the concepts presently applied to Buddhism in the West and builds a foundation for further study. The anthology ties the culture of Buddhism in Canada to the international evolution of Buddhism. As a sweeping ... analysis of the Buddhist institutions in Canada, and a call to elucidate issues standing in the way of further research, it is a fine start to a burgeoning field of study." Montreal Review of Books "For those, interested in Buddhism in Canada, Wild Geese is required reading. And even those who focus strongly on Buddhism in America should give Wild Geese their attention, as it will help them to put their studies into a more North American focus, and perhaps help them discern what is American about their subjects, what is North American, and what belongs to a modern world-spanning flow of Buddhist movements and developments." Journal of Global Buddhism "The editors have assembled not only unquestionably the best survey of Buddhism in Canada, but arguably the new standard for books on Buddhism in all of North America. Scholars of religion in North America will be usefully provoked by this book. Scholars of Buddhism in the West simply must read it." Religious Studies Review
wg_info_mqup.pdf
2009
Introduction to the Study of Religion
Rodrigues H, Harding JS. Introduction to the Study of Religion. London: Routledge; 2009. WebsiteAbstract
Why do people study religion? How have they studied it in the past? How do we study religion today? Is the academic study of religion the same as religious education? These and many other questions are addressed in this engaging introduction to the discipline of religious studies, written by two experienced university teachers. The authors have crafted this book to familiarize novice students with key concepts and terminology in the study of religion. More advanced students will find a varied array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches to the field. Topics include: definitions of religionperspectives in the study and teaching of religionhow religion began to be studied: traditional perspectives – philosophical and theologicalhow people experience religion: perspectives in the study of religious consciousness and perception – phenomenological and psychologicalstudying religion within communities: Social and cultural perspectives – anthropological, sociological, political and economicjudging religion: critical perspectives –feminist approaches, the interaction of popular literature and religioncontextual perspectives – historical and comparative. The book encourages students to think critically about the theories and methods presented. Students will find arguments for the strengths and limitations of these approaches, understand connections among religious studies and other intellectual movements, and develop their own ideas of how they might want to go about the study of religion. Summary boxes, a timeline, a glossary and other pedagogic aids help students grasp key concepts, along with a companion website at www.sastor.com. 1. Defining Religion 2. How Religion Began To Be Studied: Traditional Perspectives 3. Studying Religion Within Communities: Social and Cultural Perspectives 4. How People Experience Religion: Perspectives in the Study of Religious Consciousness and Perception 5. Judging Religion: Critical Perspectives and Evaluations 6. Studying Religion in Context: Perspectives and Conclusion. Chronology of Significant Persons and Seminal Texts. Glossary
introstudy_of_religion.pdf
2008
Mahayana Phoenix: Japan's Buddhists at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions
Harding JS. Mahayana Phoenix: Japan's Buddhists at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions. New York: Peter Lang; 2008. WebsiteAbstract
The remarkable group of Japanese Buddhists who traveled to Chicago's Columbian Exposition to participate in the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions combined religious aspirations with nationalist ambitions. Their portrayal of Buddhism mirrored modern reforms in Meiji, Japan, and the historical context of cultural competition on display at the 1893 World's Fair. Japan's primary exhibit, the Ho-o, or phoenix, Pavilion, provided an impressive display of traditional culture as well as apt symbolism: for Japan's modern rise to prominence, for Buddhist renewal succeeding devastating Meiji persecution, for Mahayana revitalization following withering attacks of Western critics, and for Chicago's own resurrection from the ashes of the Great Fire. This book examines the Japanese delegates' portrayal of Mahayana Buddhism as authentically ancient, pragmatically modern, scientifically consistent, and universally salvific. The Japanese delegates were active, and relatively successful agents who seized the opportunity of the 1893 forum to further their own objectives of promoting Japan and its Buddhism to the West, repairing negative evaluations of the «great vehicle» of Buddhism, differentiating Japanese Buddhism from the Buddhism of other countries, distinguishing their tradition as the evolutionary culmination of all religions, and shaping modern Buddhism in Asia and the West. «Conversations among representatives of the world's religions surely do not take place within a vacuum; the push and pull of global politics usually influences what gets said. So it is now and so it was as well in 1893 when some deeply concerned persons designed and attended the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. John S. Harding's account of Japan's Buddhist representation at that confab puts not only what was religious but also what was geo-political and even downright promotional into a fascinating narrative and very valuable analysis. Chicago was recovering from a terrible fire, Japan's Buddhists from criticisms at home, Japan as a whole from a period of self-isolation, and America from an image of being religiously parochial. A lot was at stake in 1893. This book deftly describes how these agendas converged during a unique, sometimes almost unimaginably bold meeting in mid-America in the late nineteenth century.» (William R. LaFleur, University of Pennsylvania)
mahaphoenix.pdf