White garments, gray notions : issues of identity and motivation in regard to the contemporary Buddhist pilgrim in Japan

Date
2004
Authors
Shultz, John Andrew
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Abstract
Contemporary Buddhist pilgrimage in Japan challenges the scholar with a number of variables that force us to revaluate how we investigate pilgrims and pilgrimage. Some of these considerations are present in certain institutional structures. Others pertain to factors found in the individual pilgrim's experience of pilgrimage. Academic methodologies, which prioritize either institutional structures or pilgrim experiences to the exclusion of the other, have and will continue to paint a skewed picture of the overall situation. Up to the present, the tendency has been to preference the institutional side of pilgrimage rather to the exclusion of the experiential dimensions. The result has been approaches that give a lopsided picture and scholarly treatments, which either avoid experiential factors altogether, or worse still, draw conclusions about pilgrim experience based simply on overt institutional structures. My basic argument is that pilgrimage study in the context of Japan can benefit significantly by including certain factors of personal experience. My central research question asks what factors of pilgrimage are fundamentally missed when we concentrate too heavily on institutions.
Description
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-127).
vi, 127 leaves, bound 29 cm
Keywords
Buddhist pilgrims and pilgrimages -- Japan
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