Korean Buddhist studies in Western academia has yet to develop into an identifiably distinct field of study. Fortunately, in the last decade a critical mass of scholars specializing in Korean Buddhism has begun to emerge. However, the vast majority of these scholars have appointments in other positions such as Asian religions, East Asian Buddhism, the arts, and philosophy. They also have affiliations with a wide range of departments: Religious Studies, Anthropology, Art History, East Asian Cultures and Literature, and so on. As a result, the excellent work being done on Korean Buddhist studies is fragmented and thereby somewhat lost among these other fields.
This conference, consisting of two full days from April 19-20, 2019, was comprised of fifteen specialists in pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Korean Buddhism. These scholars, each from different disciplines, established a network by sharing their most recent research, ideas, and methods with each other. The conference also initiated a fruitful conversation toward framing the nascent field of Korean Buddhist studies in the West and creatively imagining the relationship of Korean Buddhist studies to the broader landscape of Buddhist studies and beyond.
Sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University and the Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies