AREAS OF research

Research in the field of East Asian religions at RUB places emphasis on the shifting relations between religions and with other societal fields, as well as on cross-regional developments.

Special attention is dedicated to the Buddhist commentary literature of the Korean peninsula in its wider East Asian context, and in particular its interactions with traditions of the Chinese mainland. Since the source material is problematic, questions of textual criticism constitute a necessary point of departure.

Concrete research focii of the professorship "Religions of East Asia in the past and present" are

  •  History of Hwaŏm and Samnon Buddhism of the Korean Peninsula in the East Asian context  (especially textual criticism and corpus analysis of texts by Huayan, Hwaôm and Kegon)
  •  literary and pragmatic dimensions of Buddhist commentary literature (especially writing and reading as spiritual practices, textual imagery)
  •  religious exchange and transfer processes  (esp. "Sinification of Buddhism" and Interactions between Buddhism and  Taoism / Hsüan-hsüeh; Buddho-Confucian interactions in Korea).

The spectrum of research on East Asian Studies at the RUB is widened by other members of the Faculty and CERES. Current research topics in the field of East Asian Religions include

  •   Messianism and Religious Contact in Chinese Religious History (Dr. des. Licia Di Giacinto, CERES)
  •   Shrines and Shintô in the Edo Period (Anja Batram., M.A., Faculty of East Asian Studies)

Funded research projects

The Professorship for East Asian Religions  was involved with sub-projects in the collaborative research on religions in the International Research Collegium "Dynamics of Religious History between Asia and Europe" (in CERES) as well as in the Korean Studies collaborative project "Circulation of knowledge & The Dynamics of Transformation".

As part of the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) initiative, the Mercator foundation funded the interdisciplinary CERES project "Dynamiken von Textkorpora und Bildprogrammen: Repräsentationen buddhistischer Narrative entlang der Seidenstraße." (Dynamics of Text Corpora and Image Programs: Representations of Buddhist Narratives along the Silk Road), which was administered by East Asian religions.

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