[KS] Slavery in Korean Buddhism post-doc position in Leiden

Remco Breuker rebreuker at gmail.com
Thu Mar 11 06:53:58 EST 2010

Dear colleagues,

I am posting this job announcement on behalf of a colleague (prof. Jonathan
Silk, Buddhist Studies). He is looking for a post-doctoral scholar to work
on the issue of slavery in Korean Buddhism.

sincerely, Remco Breuker.


*Project description

*Buddhism is widely perceived to be, and Buddhist sources themselves promote
the tradition as, a philosophy of liberation. Yet, as perhaps everywhere,
Buddhist societies, both ancient and modern, not only evidence, but indeed
seem to promote, social inequalities. The project ‘Buddhism and Social
Justice’ explores the inner tensions in Buddhist cultures between inherited
core values and social realities, with specific foci on questions of labor
(e.g., slavery and forced labor, serfdom) and social status (e.g., caste and

The project consists of five studies: a core investigation of slavery and
caste in India, and studies on slavery in Korea, burakumin (‘outcastes’) in
Japan, ‘serfdom’ and monastic economy in Tibet, and ethnicity and Buddhism
in Sri Lanka. These are approached through text-historical, historical and a
socio-anthropological methods. The synergy between the projects lies in the
question of how Buddhist ways of thinking and acting inform and structure
historically Buddhist Asian societies, and how, correspondingly, Buddhist
ideologies and dogmas were transformed in historical contexts. This study
seeks therefore to uncover the links between the ancient and the modern and
the theoretical and the real-world, thereby leading both to a deeper
appreciation of how religious systems function in societies in general, and
to a more nuanced appreciation of the dynamics of historically Buddhist
societies in general, particularly with respect to questions of social
justice. As such, the work is situated not only within the realms of
Buddhist Studies and Asian History, but also at the juncture of Religious
Studies, Political Science and Anthropology, as it engages issues of Church
and Society, Slavery Studies, and the study of Race, Ethnicity and Caste.

    The available positions are as follows:

    Post-doc:  Slavery in Korean Buddhism.

    vacancy number: 10-048

    PhD 1:  Burakumin (‘outcastes’) in Japanese Buddhism.
    vacancy number: 10-048a PhD 2:  ‘Serfdom’ and Tibetan Monastic Economy.
    vacancy number: 10-048b PhD 3:  Ethnicity and Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

    vacancy number: 10-048c

    Please see the full project description at

Post-Doctoral Fellowship applicants should  have a demonstrably excellent
academic track record in Buddhist Studies, and hold a PhD in Buddhist
Studies or a related field, or its equivalent. They should have an excellent
command of English and be prepared to present their research results in
English. Applicants will teach a small number of courses on topics within
their area of specialization, and assist in guiding the PhD students.

*Conditions of employment*
    The position of the Postdoctoral fellow is temporary, max. three years
with a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).
    The position of PhD-fellow (‘promovendus’) is temporary, max. four years
with a full-time appointment, and with an initial 18-month trial period.

*More information*
    For more information about the two positions please contact Prof. dr.
J.A Silk,
    tel. +31-71-5272510, email j.a.silk at hum.leidenuniv.nl. See the full
project description at

        Post-doc candidates please send your application (in English),

        * a cover letter stating your motivation for this position,
        * a CV,
        * copies of your academic transcripts,
        * a printed copy of your PhD thesis and other relevant publications,
        * three references.

    Please send your application indicating the application number to the
address below before the  23 april 2010

    vacature at hum.leidenuniv.nl
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