8. Looking Bodhidharma in the Eye: The Beginnings of Otto's Interreligious Encounters with Japanese Buddhists

The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century - Ulrich Rosenhagen

Katja Triplett [+-]
University of Leipzig
Katja Triplett is Associate Fellow at the Humanities Center of Advanced Studies „Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities, “ University of Leipzig. She is an affiliated Professor of the Study of Religions at Marburg University, where she curated the Religionskundliche Sammlung from 2007 to 2012. She received her Doctorate in the Study of Religions from Marburg University where she also studied Japanese Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology. Her main fields of interest are Buddhism, religion and medicine, and visual and material culture. She has published widely on Japanese religions. Among her recent publications is Buddhism and Medicine in Japan (De Gruyter, 2019).

Description

Rudolf Otto’s legacy is more than his written oeuvre, but also includes the collection of religious artifacts he assembled in Marburg (what would become the Religionskundliche Sammlung) and his wide network of acquaintances in many parts of the world including Japan. Examining contemporary sources such as personal letters and photos as well as other materials from the Religionskundliche Sammlung, the following chapter will shed light on the little explored connection between Otto’s academic writings on Japanese Buddhism, the Religionskundliche Sammlung, and his personal German-Japanese encounters. I examine how formative his contact with Japan was for his interest in the parallels and convergences in the development of different religions, in Zen as a noteworthy case of a religion stripped of its ‘rational’ elements, and for the blossoming of Zen Buddhist study in 20th century Marburg.

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Citation

Triplett, Katja. 8. Looking Bodhidharma in the Eye: The Beginnings of Otto's Interreligious Encounters with Japanese Buddhists. The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jun 2022. ISBN 9781781794906. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30391. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30391. Jun 2022

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