Lecture Series: Between Invisibility and Autonomy
When: Mon, 19.12.2022 6:15 PM until 8:00 PM
Where: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
Between Invisibility and Autonomy: Negotiating Gender Roles in Manuscript Cultures
Patrons of Paper and Clay: Methods for Studying Women's Religiosity in Ancient Japan
Dr Bryan Lowe (Princeton)
Women were not on the margins of Buddhist patronage in premodern Japan; they were squarely at the center. Scholars’ tendency to rely on published texts, however, masks the contributions of women to the emergence of Buddhism in Japan. By considering colophons in manuscripts and excavated materials such as inscribed pottery and roof tiles from the seventh through ninth centuries, we can begin to recover women’s religiosity that is otherwise lost from our historical narratives. My presentation will look at a range of objects from Buddhist sutras copied in scriptoria in the capital to earthenware bowls unearthed in the provinces of eastern Japan to assess the religious beliefs and practices of women across social class. I will consider the contributions of women both quantitatively and qualitatively and offer new methods for better representing women in our scholarship.