CFP: Towards an Anthropology of Buddhism
Panel: “Towards an Anthropology of Buddhism”
Panel convenors: Nicolas Sihlé (Center for Himalayan Studies, CNRS) & Patrice Ladwig (Max Planck Institute / U. of Zurich)
Conference of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS)
Vienna, 18-23 August 2014
This day-long panel will bring together a wide range of scholars working all over the Buddhist world. The aim is to contribute to the emerging project of an “anthropology of Buddhism” (see CFP below), as well as to bringing a stronger anthropological perspective into Buddhist Studies and the conference.
Through a recent series of panels/workshops, in Asia, America and Europe, the project of an “anthropology of Buddhism” as an ethnographically based, comparatively and theoretically informed shared endeavour of a community of scholars (in the way that we have seen the recent formation of an “anthropology of Christianity”) is starting to emerge. As a step in that direction, this panel will present the results of ethnographically based work, conducted in a wide range of Buddhist social settings. We particularly invite contributions that are framed by an assessment of the state of the art in the anthropology of Buddhism with regard to the central topics that they address.
As possible directions, we invite contributions that deepen or question, substantively, comparatively and analytically, our knowledge of relatively better-studied contexts (e.g., rural, rather mainstream traditions subsumed under the categories of Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana), but also contributions that explore less well-studied situations: ‘ethnic minority Buddhisms’ or high Buddhist elites; heterodoxies or praxies; urban, transnational or multiethnic settings. We seek contributions bringing fresh perspectives on classic themes and theories, or that attempt to open up the anthropology of Buddhism to less explored issues and approaches, such as (to name just a few): embodied moral traditions of asceticism, learning and healing; the ethnography of texts and other Buddhist media; or emergent Buddhist economics, politics and socialities in the face of contemporary changes.
For more information on the conference:
Conference homepage: http://iabs2014.univie.ac.at/home/
List of accepted panels: http://iabs2014.univie.ac.at/academic-program/list-of-panels/
Please send proposals or direct any inquiries to both Nicolas Sihlé (nicolas.sihle[at]gmail.com) and Patrice Ladwig (patrice[at]gmx.com). We would need a title and an abstract (250-500 words) by the 15th of October (the finalized panel titles and abstracts have to be submitted to the conference organizers by the 1st of November).