Numata Colloquium Series Talk. T. Griffith Foulk is Professor of Religion at Sarah Lawrence College and Co-editor-in-chief of the Soto Zen Text Project.
Most ordinary Buddhist temples in Japan today, regardless of what denomination they belong to, have two principal buildings: a main hall (hondō 本堂) for ceremonies and a living quarters (kuri 庫裡) for the resident priest and his family. The layout of those two buildings, along with many of their ritual and practical functions, evolved directly from the founding abbot’s halls (kaisandō 開山堂), founding patron’s halls (kaikidō 開基堂), and mortuary sub-temples or “stupa sites” (tatchū 塔頭) that existed in medieval Zen monasteries. The architectural evidence supports the conclusion that the beliefs and practices of so-called “funeral Buddhism” (sōshiki buppō 葬式仏法) in Japan are rooted in Chinese modes of ancestor worship that were originally imported from China by monks of the Zen school.
Cost: Free and open to the public
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