RIJS People Faculty
Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions
Dept. of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
After completing an undergraduate degree in Economics at Keio University, Professor Ryūichi Abé acquired a master’s degree from School of Advanced International Affairs, The Johns Hopkins University. He then turned to Religious Studies and was awarded an M.Phil and Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 1991 he was appointed as an assistant professor at Columbia’s Department of Religion, and since 1998 served as Kao Associate Professor of Japanese Religions. In 2004 he moved to the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard and has been teaching wide-ranging graduate and undergraduate courses on East Asian Buddhism and premodern and early modern Japanese religions. His research interests center around Buddhist theory of language, Buddhism and literature, history of Japanese esoteric Buddhism, Shinto-Buddhist interaction, and Buddhism and gender. His publications include Great Fool–Zen Master Ryōkan (University of Hawai'i Press, 1996), the Weaving of Mantra–Kūkai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse (Columbia University Press, 1999), “Word” (In Lopez ed, Critical Terms in Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago Press), “Mikyō girei to kenmitsu bukkyō” (In Imai Masaharu ed., Chūsei bukkyō no tenkai to sono kiban, Daizō shuppan), and “Naraki mikkyō no saikentō” (In Nemoto seiji et al. eds., Nara bukkyō to zaichi shakai, Iwata shoin).