Guardians of the Buddha’s Home
Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū
University of Hawaii Press 2019
New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Buddhist StudiesNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & Faith August 5, 2019 Alex Carroll
In her recent ethnography, Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū (University of Hawaii Press, 2019), Prof. Jessica Starling invites us into the daily lives of the bōmori, the spouses of priests in the Japanese Jōdo Shinshū, or True Pure Land, tradition. Focusing on domestic religion, Prof. Starling shows us how the bōmori create community by cleaning the temple altar, how they express gratitude for their salvation by carefully managing temple donations, and how they inspire faith by serving a cup of tea. This is truly a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of one of Buddhism’s most overlooked figures, the temple wives. You can reach Starling via Facebook.