Field: Japanese Religion
Advisor: Bernard Faure
Luke Thompson’s research focuses on Japanese Buddhism during the tenth-to-fourteenth centuries. He is particularly interested in Buddhist historiography and the way in which Japanese Buddhists have thought about Buddhist history and their own place within it. His PhD dissertation examined Japanese views of Śākyamuni during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in light of contemporaneous changes in Japanese understandings of Japan’s historical and geographical position within the Buddhist world. He is currently working on a second project focused on the rebuilding of Nara in the last decades of the twelfth century and is also teaching Buddhist Studies courses in New York State prisons through the Bard Prison Initiative’s undergraduate degree program.