James Mark Shields, associate professor of comparative humanities and Asian thought at Bucknell University, recently served as a guest of the Tanaka Asian Studies Lecture Series on April 18, delivering the talk, “Against Harmony: Progressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan.”
“Professor Shields is one of the leading specialists in radical and progressive Buddhism, pushing the boundaries of how we understand Buddhist thought and practice in Asia,” says Darrin Magee, associate professor of environmental studies and chair of the Asian Studies Department. “We’re extremely fortunate to have him joining us here as part of the Tanaka Asian Study Lecture Series.”
At Bucknell, Shields teaches courses on Modern Japanese Buddhist thought, Buddhism, Shinto, East Asian religions, Asian and comparative philosophy, and sexuality and gender. He has published two books, including “Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought” and “Teaching Buddhism in the West: From the Wheel to the Web.” Shields has also authored five book chapters and more than a dozen articles in academic journals.
Shields received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. from McGill University in Montréal, and his M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge. He has been an associate in research at the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies at Harvard University since 2009.
Prior to his Tanaka lecture, Shields facilitated a session of Associate Professor of Religious Studies John Krummel’s “Japanese Religions” course.
The Tanaka Asian Studies Lecture Series is funded by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation. Since 1992, the Foundation has been a major contributor to the education and intellectual growth of both faculty and students on the HWS campus.
The event was coordinated by Magee, who joined the HWS faculty in 2008. He has authored a number of articles on China’s water and energy and has presented his work at conferences and institutes throughout the world, including Oxford University, the University of Colorado and the National Youth Science Foundation.