Nineteenth Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ): “Overlapping cosmologies and cosmographies in Pre-mordern Asia”
Abstr. due: 03.10.2014
Dates: 20.06.15 — 21.06.15
Organizing comittee e-mail: email@example.com
Organizers: Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University
The organizer of this panel invites participants to present papers focused on the various forms of cosmology and cosmography in pre-modern Asia from an inter-cultural perspective, in a proposed panel at the Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ) Conference at Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan, on the weekend of June 20-21, 2015. We seek 2-3 other scholars currently engaged in the captioned topics from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives to participate. Should the number of suitable papers exceed the capacity of the panel, an additional roundtable session would be proposed to facilitate discussion and exchange among the participants. There is a possibility that the panel papers will be published in an edited volume focused on the panel topic, "Overlapping cosmologies in Pre-modern Asia".
Working Panel Abstract (will be further edited to accommodate all papers accepted in panel):
For over a millennium from the early centuries of the common era, pre-scientific cultures in Asia thrived and engaged in intense dialogue with each other in what some scholars called the “Bright Dark Ages,” a notion inspired by the famous Needham question which concerns the nature and value of pre-scientific thoughts and achievements in Asia. Seen from both comparative and connective perspective, such interaction is best illustrated by the transmission and evolution of the astral science, considered often the foremost intellectual product in its respective culture. Within the vast body of knowledge which constitutes the astral science, cosmology has the widest implication in all other fields within and among their respective cultures, and possibly beyond, as thinkers attempted to position themselves in both space and time in a world whose understanding underwent continuous change. In South Asia, Purāṇic cosmology, as well as rivaling ones with notable Greek and Babylonian influences emerged, and gradually supplanted their Vedic antecedent. In China and Japan, new cosmological notions were introduced through Buddhists from India and Central Asia. What happened when two conflicting notions of the world and the cosmos collided? In a highly syncretic context, how were overlapping cosmologies accommodated? What were the criteria for one system being preferred over another and what parameters drove the historical processes. Drawing from text-critical sources, we hope to tackle these questions from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and to reveal the pattern which underlies the discourse among various cultures in pre-modern Asia, and its impact to posterity and beyond.
Conference Web-Site: http://www.meijigakuin.ac.jp/~ascj/