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​Program of the Conference:

Multifaceted Divinities in Japan and Beyond

In Memory of Prof. Zwi Werblowsky (1924-2015)

Day 1: May 29, 2016

Rabin Building, Auditorium (room 5001)

The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

16:30-16:50: Gathering

16:50-17:30: Greetings

Chair: Shalmit Bejarano (IAJS Academic Committee)

His Excellency Ambassador of Japan - Mr. Koji Tomita

Okada Kōō (Spiritual Leader of Sukyo Mahikari and executive director, the Federation of New Religious Organization of Japan)

Rotem Kowner (Chair of the Israeli Association for Japanese Studies)

David Satran (Chair of the Dept. of Comparative Religions, Hebrew University)

Jonathan Tsevi (in the name of the family)

Irit Averbuch (Tel-Aviv University) & Yagi Morris (SOAS), Conference organizers 


17:30- 19:00: Key Note Speech

Chair: Yagi Morris (SOAS, London,) & Irit Averbuch (Tel-Aviv University)

Bernard Faure

(Columbia University, NY):

“The Devil’s Advocate: Buddhism’s Inner Demons”

19:00 – 19:30
 Dance performance by Miho Kataoka-Ehrlich

Dinner Reception (by invitation)

* * * 

Day 2: May 30, 2016

Rabin Building, Room 2001

The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

8:45- Gathering and Coffee


Panel 1: The Roots of Multivalence: Buddha and Dao

Chair: Bernard Faure (Columbia University, NY)

Nissim Otmazgin, (Chair of the Dept. of Asian Studies, Hebrew University)


Eviatar Shulman (Hebrew University)

“The Divine Historical Buddha”

Gil Raz (Dartmouth College, New Hampshire)

“The Pantheon and Religion of Buddho-Daoist Communities in Medieval China”


10:30- 13:25

Panel 2: Buddhism, Localism and Combinatory Deities

Chair: Irit Averbuch (Tel-Aviv University)

Suzuki Masataka (Keio University, Tokyo)

“The Localization of Kumano Gongen Cult and Mountain Worship: From ‘Engi’ to ‘Kagura’”


Saitō Hideki (Buddhist University, Kyoto)

“Medieval Kagura of Calendrical Deities”「暦神たちの中世神楽」

Coffee break (10 minutes)

Carina Roth Al-Eid (University of Geneva)

“Encounterings at the Borders: En no Gyōja and Mountain Deities”

Yagi Morris (SOAS, London)
The Spirituality of the Kami and the Materiality of Enlightenment in the Kinpusen Cult of Zaō gongen


13:30- 14:45 – Lunch break



Panel 3: Changing Identities of Medieval Deities

Chair: Yagi Morris (SOAS, London)

Abe Yasurō (Nagoya University)
“The Multi-Complex of the Sacred as Seen in Medieval Dreams and Oracles”


Or Porath (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara)

“Acolytes among Gods: The Apotheosis of Children in Medieval Sexual Ritualism”



Lucia Dolce ( SOAS, London)
"Doubling, Pairing, (Bodily) Combining: 
Translocal Models and Mediaeval Practices in the Shaping of Tantric Identities"



coffee break


Panel 4: New Voices –

Short Presentations by Emerging Israeli Scholars

Chair: Nissim Otmazgin (Hebrew University)

Eitan Bolokan (Tel-Aviv University)
“Emptying Reason: Eihei Dōgen and Moses 
Maimonides on the Non-Instrumental Nature of Religious Practice”

Naama Eisenstein (SOAS, London):

“Visiting the Naga Palace: Taira Spirits in Edo Imagery”

Irit Weinberg (Tel-Aviv University)
“Breaking out of National Myth: Imagining New 
Mythical Space in the Works of Shono Yoriko”

Shalmit Bejarano (Hebrew Univ. and Tel-Aviv University)
“Was the yamai-no-sōshi 
(Scroll of Illnesses) a Buddhist Scroll?”

Liad Horowitz (Tel-Aviv University)
 “The Esoteric Buddhist Initiation Reborn in 
Modern Reiki”


* * * 

Day 3: May 31, 2016

Gilman Hall, Room 496

Tel-Aviv University

8:45 – Gathering and coffee



Meir Shahar (Tel-Aviv University)
Ithamar Gruenwald (President of the Israeli Association for the study of Religions)

Irit Averbuch (Conference organizer, Tel-Aviv University)



Panel 5: Polyvalent Kami in Medieval Japan

Chair: Jacob Raz (Tel-Aviv University)

Fabio Rambelli (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara)

“Of Matter, Spirits, and Places: Japanese Discourses on The Bodies of the Shinto

Divinities (Kami)”

Mark Teeuwen (Oslo University)
“Amaterasu: Kami Fluidity in Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Ise”

Kadoya Atsushi (Iwaki Meisei Univ., Fukushima & Waseda Univ., Tokyo)

“The Role of Sendai-Kujihongi in the Systematization and Theorization of Medieval Shinto”


11:15- 11:30 Coffee break

11:30- 13:30

Panel 6: Maturation and Deconstruction:
Multifaceted Divinities from Edo to Meiji


Chair: Shalmit Bejarano (Hebrew University and Tel-Aviv University)

Evgeny Steiner (NRU, Moscow and SOAS, London)

“Iconographic Ambiguities: Artist’s Whims and Stellar Mist - Hokusai’s

Rendering of Star Gods in Hokusai Manga

Gaynor Sekimori (SOAS, London)

"Deconstructing Divinity: Old Identities Obscured, New identities Constructed"

Irit Averbuch (Tel- Aviv University) 
“Performing the Multifaceted: Sanbasô-Ebisu”


13:30 – 14:45 - Lunch break

14:45- 16:45

Panel 7: Beyond Japan: Asian Multifaceted Divinities

Chair: Erez Joskovich (Tel-Aviv University)

Ehud Halperin (Tel-Aviv University)

“The Goddess of Many Faces: The Complex Nature of the Western Himalayan Hadimba Devi”

Meir Shahar (Tel-Aviv University)

“Equine Deities across Boundaries: The Horse-Headed Avalokiteśvara, the Daoist Horse Marshal, and the Chinese Horse King.“

Sujung Kim (DePauw University, Indiana)

“From the Son of Śiva to the God of Shaman: The Transformations of Skanda in East Asian Buddhism”

16:45- 17:00 coffee break


17:00 – 18:30

Panel 8: Round Table and Closing Remarks

* * * 



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