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Crossing Borders, Seeking Converts: Religion in East Asia

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Free and open to all educators.

Educators interested in how religions travel and are adapted in East Asia should join us for this half-day workshop focusing on Buddhism in Japan and Christianity in China. We'll discuss the history of these belief systems in East Asia, looking at periods and places where they have been especially popular or influential. We'll talk about who was particularly drawn to these faiths and those who were particularly opposed to their adoption and spread. What role have these religions played in the lives of believers and communities?


Lori Meeks, University of Southern California
Much of Prof. Meeks's work focuses on clarifying the roles of women as consumers and practitioners of Buddhism in the Heian and Kamakura periods (roughly ninth through early fourteenth centuries). In 2012, her Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japanr was recognized by the Association of Asian Studies as the top book on Japan (John Whitney Hall Award). She's published many articles and book chapters on monastic orders and co-edited Buddhist Monasticism in East Asia: Places of Practice. She continues to explore women in East Asian Buddhism with recent articles on the Blood Bowl Sutra. Prof. Meeks headed the USC School of Religion 2014 to 2017.

Mary Li Ma, Calvin University
Dr. Ma is a sociologist and prolific author. Her most recent work has focused on Christianity in the lives of Chinese women. Her books include Christianity, Feminity and Social Change in Contemporary China, Christian Women and Modern China, Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China, The Chinese Exodus: A Theology of Migration, Urbanism and Alienation in Contemporary China, and Religious Entrepreneurism in China's Urban House Churches: The Rise and Fall of Early Rain Reformed Presbyterian Church. She's also published a guide to the theological aspects in the Chinese version of C. S. Lewis's Narnia series.

This workshop is part of USCI's work with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). It is possible thanks to the generosity of the Freeman Foundation.

Click here to register for this free workshop.
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