NEH - Buddhist East Asia: The Interplay of Religion, the Arts and Politics


The Asian Studies Development Program is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2018 NEH Buddhist East Asia: The Interplay of Religion, the Arts and Politics.

Institute date:  May 28 – June 22, 2018

Application Deadline:  March 1, 2018

Location:  East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Project Director:  Dr. Peter Hershock

This multi-disciplinary, four-week program is designed to strike a pedagogically useful balance between the needs for both breadth and depth in undergraduate teaching and learning. The program will be structured both geographically and historically, working out from Buddhism’s South Asian origins in the first millennium BCE, through its transmission into China, Korea and Japan from the 2nd to 6th centuries, its flourishing across East Asia from the 6th to 16th centuries, and then its encounters with global modernity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Each of the first three weeks of the program will feature sessions that address the intellectual, spiritual, ritual, and institutional dimensions of Buddhism, but also sessions on how Buddhism both shaped and was shaped by ongoing political, economic, literary and artistic dynamics. The final week will be organized around “case studies” of Buddhism as a “living tradition” changing in response to encounters with global modernity. Throughout, the program will focus on enabling participants to understand how Buddhism offered East Asians a new “total care system” that addressed both personal and social needs in ways that were inseparable from the dynamics of cultural interaction, artistic production, trade and politics.

For additional information on the institute and how to apply, please visit:

Buddhist East Asia has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor