HomeSpirituality, Healthcare And Social Movements In East Asia

HomeSpirituality, Healthcare And Social Movements In East Asia

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Published on Monday, July 19, 2021 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

East Asian Network for the Academic Study Of Esotericism - EANASE's first conference aims to offer the chance to reflect on the intertwined relationship between spirituality, healthcare and social movements in East Asia from a trans-national/local/cultural perspective. The emergence of new religious movements like Theosophy, Falungong and Taireido, or the worldwide popularisation of, for instance, acupuncture, reiki and hypnosis, challenge reductionist binary views of East/West, tradition/modernity, science/religion. Likewise, the recent dissemination of New Age practices across East Asia or the ongoing study of Buddhist meditation by American and European psychiatrists seem to reflect broader concerns that, for the past two centuries or so, have ignored national and cultural borders – and whose wider social implications are now more visible than ever.

Announcement

Abstract

The East Asian cultural sphere has figured prominently in recent collections of research on new religious movements (e.g. Pokorny and Winter 2018, Clart, Ownby and Wang 2020), Theosophy (e.g. Rudbog and Sand 2020, Krämer and Strube 2020) and global therapeutic cultures (e.g. Nehring et al. 2020, Harrington 2008), while it continues to attract the attention of scholars working on civil society (e.g. Read and Pekkanen 2009) and self-help movements (e.g. Cliff et al. 2017, Palmer 2007). But, although we are often aware of the complex entanglements between these seemingly separate areas of interest, we seldom have the opportunity to discuss such entanglements in and beyond East Asia. At the same time, in the last twenty years, significant scholarship has been published in East Asia on this topic (recent books include Yoshinaga et al. 2019, Ichiyanagi 2020, Imura and Hamano 2021 in Japan, Zheng 2018, Zhang 2020 in China and Cheon Myeong-soo 2009, Park Seung-gil et al. 2019 in South Korea). This conference aims to offer such a chance by inviting academic contributions to reflect on the intertwined relationship between spirituality, healthcare and social movements in East Asia from a trans-national/local/cultural perspective. As a time of unprecedented changes and accelerated global interactions, our focus lies on the period between the nineteenth to the twentieth-first centuries

We understand that East Asia is not a monolithic or readily-identifiable entity, but rather a historical construction that has been constantly reshaped and re-invoked for multiple reasons and by a number of actors, many of whom have come from outside the political frontiers of China, Japan and Korea. Moreover, whereas an ‘East Asian-centred’ approach might be initially helpful to counterbalance ‘Euro-american-centred’ perspectives still prevalent in academic settings, East Asia – however defined – has flourished in a changing, closely interconnected world. The emergence of new religious movements like Theosophy, Falungong and Taireido, or the popularisation of acupuncture, reiki and hypnosis worldwide, for instance, challenge reductionist binary views of East/West, tradition/modernity, science/religion. Likewise, the recent dissemination of New Age practices across East Asia or the ongoing study of Buddhist meditation by American and European psychiatrists seem to reflect broader concerns that, for the past two centuries or so, have ignored national and cultural borders – and whose wider social implications are more visible than ever. Simply put, a transnational or connected perspective (Subrahmanyam 1997) on spirituality and healthcare has much to contribute to a more thorough understanding of East Asia and the world as we know it today. 

Topics

We invite papers on different disciplinary and methodological perspectives which speak in some way to the conference theme. 

While papers can be focused on any particular region of the globe, it is important to think beyond the constraints of national borders. Papers must thus demonstrate trans-national/local/cultural connections within or beyond the East Asian cultural sphere (broadly defined; we imagine, for example, that some papers may consider Southeast Asian locales too). 

Potential themes and sub-themes could include but are not limited to:

  • Interactions between global and local concerns in the emergence of new religious movements (ex., Oomoto, Taireido, Theosophy, Seicho-no-Ie, Falungong, Yiguangdao, Daoyuan, True Buddha School)
  • Connections of the above with modern corporate philosophies (ex., Steve Jobs, Inamori Kazuo) and/or political ideologies (ex., socialism, anarchism, eugenics)
  • The popularisation of psychology and psychical research;
  • Mind-cure movements (ex., phrenology, hypnosis, animal magnetism, autosuggestion, meditation, chiropractic, homeopathy, self-cultivation, faith healing)
  • Spirituality, healthcare and the arts and literature;
  • Orientalism, counterculture and the New Age;
  • East Asian healing traditions as complementary and alternative therapies  (ex., taiji, reiki, acupuncture, yoga, shiatsu, meditation, martial arts)
  • The dissemination of East Asian spiritual traditions (ex., specific Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist or Shinto ideologies);
  • Spirituality, healthcare and scientific disciplines (ex.: parapsychology, meditation, mindfulness, qigong, body-mind medicine);
  • Western esotericism in East Asia (ex., Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, New Thought, Christian Science, Spiritism, Anthroposophy, Emmanuel Movement, Couéism)

Participants

Proposals are welcomed from researchers from anywhere in the world and at all stages of their careers. The conference aims to be as interdisciplinary and diverse as possible, and thus scholars from all disciplines and backgrounds are welcome. Submissions from graduate students and early career researchers are especially encouraged.

Language and recording

The conference language is English. Presentations will be held on Zoom and open to the public. To accommodate for various time zones, we are going to record the presentations and make them available via the EANASE website. This option is only for those who feel comfortable with being recorded. 

Submissions

Paper proposals must include a short author bio (up to 50 words), a paper title and an abstract of no more than 300 words and 3-5 keywords about the proposed presentation.

Paper presentations should have a length of up to 25 minutes.

We are looking for papers dealing with original and previously unpublished (in English) material. Selected abstracts will be eventually invited to submit extended versions of the papers for a special issue in an international, peer-reviewed journal.

Please send your paper proposal to the listed email address by 1 September 2021

Decisions will be announced by 15 September 2021.

Conference dates

In order to accommodate multiple time zones and have a wider outreach, the conference will be spread over four weeks (Saturdays; see dates below). Each Saturday will be led by a panel focused on a specific theme, and each panel will consist of three to four presentations of 25 minutes each. At the end of the four presentations, there will be around 30 minutes for discussion. As such, the length of each session is not expected to exceed two hours.

  • 6 November
  • 13 November
  • 20 November
  • 27 November

Speakers do not need to be available on all four Saturdays to be accepted for the conference. We will inquire on the availability of selected presenters before announcing the schedule.

We will also try to avoid all-male panels and will consider all proposals based not only on the range of topics and approaches but also the speakers’ background, in order to attain a diverse conference welcoming to everyone. 

Abstracts that we cannot accommodate at this conference may be invited to present in the next round (2022) or in a podcast/interview. 

Organizers

This conference is organized by the East Asian Network for the Academic Study Of Esotericism (EANASE), an autonomous, international network of scholars.

  • Avery Morrow (PhD student, Brown University, US)
  • Geng Li (Assistant Professor, China Agricultural University, China)
  • Han Sang-yun (M.A student, Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Ioannis Gaitanidis (Assistant Professor, Chiba University, Japan)
  • Luis Bernardi Junqueira (PhD student, University College London/Wellcome Trust, UK)
  • Orion Klautau (Associate Professor, Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Renata Palandri Sigolo (Associate Professor, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)
  • Yoshinaga Shin’ichi (Ryukoku University, Japan)
  • Yu-chuan Wu (Researcher Fellow, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

Places

  • Tokyo, Japan

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Keywords

  • health, spirituality, therapy, new age, religion, esotericism, occultism, globalism, alternative medicine

Contact(s)

  • Avery Morrow
    courriel : eanase [dot] conf [dot] 2021 [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Avery Morrow
    courriel : eanase [dot] conf [dot] 2021 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Spirituality, Healthcare And Social Movements In East Asia », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, July 19, 2021, https://calenda.org/897995

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