Aupiais, Juan-Jacques: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College: 
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: 
German Studies
Project Title: 
Theorizing Zen Practice in the Kyoto School
Project Abstract: 
Understanding the uses, abuses, potentials, and limitations of the international receptions of philosophy and literature is essential to understanding what multiculturalism means in our society. My project investigates the reception of German philosophy in 20th century Japan, as well as its interaction and merging with traditional Japanese and broader Mahayana Buddhist thought in the philosophy of the Kyoto School. The Kyoto school represents one of the key intellectual hybrids of modernity, but I argue that understanding how traditions merge in their work requires studying not only the theory but also the practices of Zen Buddhism. I propose to study the role played by Zen practice in the work of the Kyoto school by traveling to Kamakura to meet with leading Zen scholars and priests in order to a) learn about specifically pertinent Rinzai Zen practices and b) discuss their implications for the Kyoto school.