Buddhism and Violence in Medieval Japan : The Ideological Context

Conférence de Mikael ADOLPHSONProfesseur à l’Université de Cambridge, dans le cadre du séminaire interdisciplinaire « Histoire du Japon moderne et contemporaine : permanences et ruptures », le 4 avril 2019. 

Mikael ADOLPHSON est notamment l’auteur de l’ouvrage The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History (University of Hawai’i Press, 2007).

The role of religious institutions and monastics in the violent world of medieval Japan has long befuddled later observers. Seemingly at odds with the precepts of Buddhist scriptures, many monastic members and shrine servants took up arms to solve disputes, especially during the early medieval era (ca. 1100-1400). Members of different monastic complexes attacked one another, lower-ranking clerics fought their own leadership, and leaders of court factions recruited armed members from temples. Modern observers have been quick to condemn such activities, labelling the temples degenerate and sometimes blaming them for the decline of the imperial court in Kyoto. Contemporary sources reveal a much more ambiguous stance towards clerical violence. In this lecture, Professor Adolphson will explore the religious, social and political contexts that in fact sustained the right of Buddhist temples to engage in violence, and how later views on religion and religious violence have affected the way that early medieval Japan is portrayed. 

Jeudi 4 avril 2019, de 11h à 13h
EHESS 
(salle A06-51) – 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, Chargée de valorisation scientifique

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Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, Chargée de valorisation scientifique