VII-2. 2018 AAR (American Academy of Religion) Annual Meeting

Kanae Kawamoto (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

Justin Stein (the JSPS Research Fellow) hosted the screening and panel discussion of the documentary film The Departure (2017, dir. Lana Wilson, 87 minutes) at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual conference held in Denver during November 17-20 2018. Following the film, two commentators, Kanae Kawamoto from CSEAS and Tim Graf from Nanzan University, gave remarks to lead the audience in an open discussion.

The quietly-powerful film features a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk who works on suicide prevention. As Kawamoto studies suicide issues in Buddhist ethics, she addressed the unique features, which the film depicts how religious professionals can serve others with spiritual care and co-create the meaning of life mutually. The panel successfully resulted in an active discussion.

The AAR is the world’s largest association of scholars in religious studies, and its annual conference gathers some 10,000 people. Giving a presentation at the conference opens up opportunities for publication and employment, especially for early-career scholars.