Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Problematic Prescriptions: On the Politics of Exclusion in Premodern Japan

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Delaware Suite A, Lobby Level

Buddhist endeavors to eradicate pollution from Japan during the late Heian and early Kamakura periods may have manufactured similar ailments to those which they sought to alleviate. While beliefs about the causes and effects of pollution were far from uniform, the fear that it instilled within the Buddhist community was widespread. Differing institutions developed unique agendas for purification that ranged from chanting invocations to forced relocation and even bodily mutilation depending upon the circumstances. Practitioners who lacked the requisite physical or mental capacities to accomplish these agendas almost invariably faced ridicule and condemnation at the hands of their peers. The plight of such practitioners may be attributed to what I refer to as the disabling functions of prosthetic dharma – countermeasures to pollution that at once enabled practitioners to go about their daily lives while simultaneously marking them as defiled and in need of intervention. In this paper, I examine the disabling functions of prosthetic dharma as evidenced within a series of paintings, handscrolls, folk literature collections, and religious commentaries through the lens of Critical Disability Studies. In doing so, I propose a series of alternative ways to think about the structure of medieval Japanese society on the basis of a hitherto unexamined religious biopolitics. 

Mark Bookman

University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mark Bookman


Assets

4 - Problematic Prescriptions: On the Politics of Exclusion in Premodern Japan



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Problematic Prescriptions: On the Politics of Exclusion in Premodern Japan