Buddhism is widely perceived to be, and Buddhist sources themselves promote the tradition as, a philosophy of liberation. Yet, as perhaps everywhere, Buddhist societies, both ancient and modern, not only evidence, but indeed seem to promote, social inequalities. The project â€˜Buddhism and Social Justiceâ€™ explores the inner tensions in Buddhist cultures between inherited core values and social realities, with specific foci on questions of labor (e.g., slavery and forced labor, serfdom) and social status (e.g., caste and discrimination).
The project consists of five studies: a core investigation of slavery and caste in India and studies on slavery in Korea, burakumin (â€˜outcastesâ€™) in Japan, â€˜serfdomâ€™ and monastic economy in Tibet, and ethnicity and Buddhism in Sri Lanka. These are approached through text-historical, historical and a socio-anthropological methods. The synergy between the projects lies in the question of how Buddhist ways of thinking and acting inform and structure historically Buddhist Asian societies, and how, correspondingly, Buddhist ideologies and dogmas were transformed in historical contexts. This study seeks therefore to uncover the links between the ancient and the modern and the theoretical and the real-world, thereby leading both to a deeper appreciation of how religious systems function in societies in general, and to a more nuanced appreciation of the dynamics of historically Buddhist societies in general, particularly with respect to questions of social justice. As such, the work is situated not only within the realms of Buddhist studies and Asian history, but also at the juncture of religious studies, political science and anthropology, as it engages issues of church and society, slavery studies, and the study of race, ethnicity and caste.
- Post-doc: Slavery in Korean Buddhism. Vacancy number: 10–048.
- Ph.D. 1: Burakumin (â€˜outcastesâ€™) in Japanese Buddhism. Vacancy number: 10–048a.
- Ph.D. 2: â€˜Serfdomâ€™ and Tibetan Monastic Economy. Vacancy number: 10–048b.
- Ph.D. 3: Ethnicity and Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Vacancy number: 10–048c.
See the full project description at http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lias/research/sas/vici-project-silk.html.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship applicants should have a demonstrably excellent academic track record in Buddhist studies and hold a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies or a related field, or its equivalent. They should have an excellent command of English and be prepared to present their research results in English. Applicants will teach a small number of courses on topics within their area of specialization and assist in guiding the Ph.D. students.
Conditions of employment
The position of the Postdoctoral fellow is temporary, maximum three years with a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).
The position of Ph.D.-fellow (â€˜promovendusâ€™) is temporary, maximum four years with a full-time appointment, and with an initial 18-month trial period.
For more information about the two positions contact Prof. dr. J.A Silk (tel. +31–71-5272510; e-mail email@example.com. Also, see the full project description at http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lias/research/sas/vici-project-silk.html.
Post-doc candidates send your application (in English), including:
- a cover letter stating your motivation for this position,
- a curriculum vitae,
- copies of your academic transcripts,
- a printed copy of your PhD thesis and other relevant publications, and
- three references.
Send applications indicating the application number to the following address before April 23, 2010: firstname.lastname@example.org.