This group has worked together since Fall 2013 to create a cluster of new, interrelated courses under the theme “Paths to the Buddha.”
Project goals include fostering inter-departmental collaborative teaching in ways that are unique to St. Lawrence University, creating opportunities for group participants to learn from each other’s research and teaching, developing an interdisciplinary course reader and online digital collections for use in St. Lawrence University classrooms and beyond.
One component of this project was the Chichibu Pilgrimage Digital Museum. The goal is to create a Scalar ebook database on the Chichibu thirty-four temple Kannon pilgrimage as a digital resource for people interested in studying (and perhaps traveling to) it. MacWilliam's class worked on Kannon pilgrimage on the Chichibu route in generaI. The result is a Scalar-based digitalized overview of the Chichibu pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages are journeys to sacred centers "out there," as Victor Turner famously defined them. This Scalar book is based upon a semester long course on Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage taught by Mark MacWilliams at St. Lawrence University in the Spring of 2014. In this project MacWilliams plans to work with twelve St. Lawrence University students to create pages about two pilgrimages—both tied to the famous bodhisattva of wisdom and compassion—Kannon (Chinese, Kuan-yin) Bosatsu.