Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2012 - 7/31/2012

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

From Outcast to Saint: The Aged Body and its Transformations in the Medieval Japanese Religious Imagination

FAIN: FT-59125-11

Edward Robertson Drott
Curators of the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO 65211-1230)

The NEH Summer Stipend will support archival work in Japan and the completion of chapters two and three of my book manuscript, Setting out for Faraway Lands: Aging and its Vagaries in Buddhist Japan. The book argues that developments in religious ideology and practice contributed to new ways of thinking about and “enacting” old age in medieval Japan (1185-1600), employing theoretical approaches from the fields of anthropology and gender studies as well as historical and literary-critical methods. While much has been written on the impact of religious ideology on gender in Japan, no one has utilized similar methods to study the role of religion in the formation of ideas about life stages. My work will thus not only contribute to a growing subfield of studies on religion and the body, but expand its horizons, enhancing our knowledge of how religion has affected the ways in which the human body has been understood and experienced in different historical and cultural contexts.