Dr. Jiang Wu, "Chinese Religion From a Geographical Perspective"

October 21, 2016 - 3:30pm
ENR2 Building, Room S230

The School of Geography & Development Presents: Chinese Religion From a Geographical Perspective: The Regional Religious System (RRS) Approach
A talk by Dr. Jiang Wu
The concept of Regional Religious System (RRS) is a new way to study the pattern of spatial distribution of religious sites and their relationship with other social and cultural factors. However, many theoretical and methodological issues have not yet been solved. In this talk, Dr. Wu will discuss these theoretical and methodological issues and contemplate further on the validity of the application of RRS to the study of religion. Adopting William Skinner's Macro-regions theory and spatial analysis methods, Dr. Wu examines various factors in the formation of RRS in China. Insights will be gained as to the religious site distribution patterns and the formation of various religious networks.

Jiang Wu is currently a professor in Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. He received his Masters degree from Nankai University (1994) and Ph.D. from Harvard University (2002). Sponsored by multiple grants from various funding agencies, he has been working on GIS projects and creating datasets for Buddhist Geographic Information System (BGIS) for more than fifteen years. Right now, he is perfecting the method and theory of Regional Religious System (RRS) he and others proposed in an article published in 2013. Other research interests include seventeenth-century Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan/Zen Buddhism, the role of Buddhist canons in the formation of East Asian Buddhist culture, and the historical exchanges between Chinese Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism. He is the author of Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-century China (Oxford, 2008), Leaving for the Rising Sun: Chinese Zen Master Yinyuan and the Authenticity Crisis in Early Modern East Asia (Oxford, 2015), and editor of Spreading Buddha’s Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhism Canon (Columbia, 2016).

Friday, October 21st - 3:30 pm
Refreshments starting at 3:00pm
ENR2 Building, Room S230