Kristina Buhrman (PhD, University of Southern California) is a historian of Japanese religions, specializing in the pre-modern period (before 1600). Her current research focuses on Onmyōdō, a collection of ritual and divinatory techniques that became popular in Japan during the Heian Period (794 - 1192). She also works on astrology and math in esoteric Buddhism, and maintains an interest in the intersection of religion and disaster and memory. Her teaching interests include the representation of religion and the supernatural in Japanese popular culture.
- Religion and science in East Asia
- Manuscript and book cultures and intellectual exchange
- Fate and divination
- Esoteric Buddhisms
REL3351: Japanese Religions
This course investigates the influence of Japanese religious traditions on Japanese life, culture, and history; as well as the influence of history and politics on modem Japanese religiosity.
REL4044: What is Religion?
What is “religion”? How and why do we study “religion”? What role does “religion” play in human existence? This course is a survey of how theorists in the modern era have answered questions about the origin, essence, and function of religion, as well as an examination of the methods by which religion is studied in a scholarly environment. Students will be asked to perform close readings of a selection of theoretical and critical works that answer these questions in a variety of ways, and become familiar with a wide array of approaches to the study of religion. Students should expect a reading-, writing-, and speaking-intensive course that surveys a complex and evolving field of study, including a final analytical paper assessing the status of “religious studies” in the university. Meets Upper-Division Scholarship in Practice (UD-SIP) and Oral Communication Competency (OCC) requirements.
REL3340: The Buddhist Tradition
This course surveys the Buddhist tradition from its beginnings through the modern period. Some attention to its contemporary forms. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC) requirements.
REL4359-2/RLG5354-2: SP Topics Asian Rel: Divination
In this course, Chinese and Japanese systems of divination are examined in a comparative context. We will read studies of divination from East Asia, Africa and the Classical World, among others, to learn how divination methods reveal information about how a culture views the spiritual, natural, and social worlds. Students will write a research paper for their final project.