Friday, November 2, 2018 at 4:00pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML), East Asian Seminar Room (110C)
3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
In many temples today in Japan, one can see a fire ritual performed the origin of which traces back some four thousand years or more to Vedic India and the ancient religious practices of Iran. The Shingon tradition maintains this ritual practice in which offerings are made into a fire built on an altar inside of a temple. This practice is known as goma in Japanese, and homa in Sanskrit. It is found almost everywhere that tantric practices—of all kinds—are performed, and throughout the tantric Buddhist tradition.
Richard K. Payne. Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley; Ph.D. in the History and Phenomenology of Religion, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Dissertation fieldwork on the Shingon (眞言) tradition in Kōyasan and Kyoto in the early 1980s included training and ordination as a Shingon priest (ācārya, ajari 阿闍梨). His dissertation on the fire ritual (homa, goma 護摩) grounds continuing research on tantric ritual studies, including the volume Homa Variations: The Study of Ritual Change Across the Longue Durée, jointly edited with Michael Witzel (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is chair of the editorial committees for the Pure Land Buddhist Studies series (University of Hawai‘i Press), and for Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and is also Editor-in-Chief for Oxford Bibliographies/Buddhism, and Co-Editor-in-Chief for Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Religion/Buddhism.