The East Asian Speakers Series presents a talk by Dr. Caitilin Griffiths, Tracing the Itinerant Path: Jishū Nuns of Medieval Japan on Thursday, November 2, 4pm at the Purple Lounge (Robarts Library, 14th floor).
This talk introduces the jishū, a prominent and popular Pure Land Buddhist movement of medieval Japan. It was a mixed gender group, with nuns travelling, preaching, chanting and dancing alongside the monks. Women have long been active supporters and promoters of Buddhist rituals and functions, but female presence and importance in the operations of Buddhist schools has often been minimized. The examine of the jishū, as highlighted in Dr. Griffiths’ book, helps fill in the lacunae that exists in our understanding of women’s participation in Japanese religious history. We discover that there was a fluid and engaging community in which women held important roles, including leadership of mixed gender congregations.