Richard M. Jaffe, 2004–05; 2023–24 | National Humanities Center

Richard M. Jaffe (NHC Fellow, 2004–05; 2023–24)

Project Title, 2023–24

Spreading Indra's Net: A Biography of D. T. Suzuki

The Duke Endowment Fellowship, 2023–24

Professor of Religious Studies, Duke University

Project Title, 2004–05

Seeking Śākyamuni: World Travel and the Reconstruction of Japanese Buddhism, 1868-1945

Duke University

photo of Richard Jaffe

Richard M. Jaffe specializes in the study of Buddhism in early-modern and modern Japan. In particular, he has focused his research and teaching on the transformations that took place in Japanese Buddhist practice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These changes include the abandonment of mandatory celibacy for Buddhist clerics and the growing awareness of South and Southeast Asia as loci for Buddhist practice. Jaffe’s current research centers on the role of D.T. Suzuki in the globalization of Japanese Buddhism in the twentieth century.

Selected Publications

Seeking Śākyamuni

  • Jaffe, Richard M. “D. T. Suzuki and the Two Cranes: American Philanthropy and Suzuki’s Global Agenda.” In Beyond Zen: D. T. Suzuki and the Modern Transformation of Buddhism, edited by John Breen, Sueki Fumihiko, and Yamada Shōji, 133–55. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2022.
  • Jaffe, Richard M. Seeking Śākyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.
  • Jaffe, Richard M., gen. ed. Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki. 4 vols. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.
  • Jaffe, Richard M., ed. Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki. Vol. 1, Zen. Oakland: University of California Press, 2015.
  • Jaffe, Richard M. Neither Monk nor Layman: Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Fellowship Work Report, 2004–05

Richard M. Jaffe worked extensively on his book manuscript Seeking Śākyamuni (under contract with University of Chicago Press), completing two chapters and beginning work on two others.

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