Matthew Hayes holds degrees in Religious Studies, Asian Studies, and Buddhist Studies, and currently teaches at UCLA and Occidental College. His research focuses on ritual practice in early modern Japan and its intersection with knowledge production, learning, patronage, and social formations. His dissertation examined the pedagogical and performative transmission of religious knowledge through a Shingon ceremonial lecture (kōshiki) delivered at the Kyoto temple Chishakuin. This project took shape through long-term research conducted in Tokyo, where he was a 2016–2018 Visiting Researcher at Taisho University and 2016–2017 Research Fellow at Waseda University. His current research focuses on the hagiographic provenance of Japanese hymns (wasan), which is part of a broader project that explores the heuristic benefits of ritual in Buddhist East Asia generally. He has published in the Journal of Religion in Japan, the Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyūshū, and for Bloomsbury Publishing. In also serves as the Buddhist Studies Editor for The Digital Orientalist and as a copyeditor for the Journal of Global Buddhism.
How does discipline impact the way we see Buddhist ritual? How can more diverse disciplinary conversations help scholars see ritual in new ways? Five scholars from four time zones come together from around the world to discuss the impacts of interdisciplinary approaches to Buddhist ritual.
How do we deal with different cultural languages when teaching an Introduction to Buddhism course? Is cultural familiarity something to be broken immediately and displaced by new concepts and perspectives? Is it to be leveraged as devices for easy onboarding to other, more unfamiliar terms and ideas? Are they to be outright ignored? David Robertson is joined by Matthew Hayes