Ry?ichi Abe ( , Abe Ry?ichi, born 1954) is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions at Harvard University. Until May 2004, he was Professor of Japanese Religions in the departments of Religion and East Asian Languages and Culture at Columbia University.
Professor Abe, through his teaching and books, has made an important contribution to the Western understanding of Buddhism in Japan. His book on K?kai, The Weaving of Mantra: K?kai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse, underscores K?kai's impact on 9th century Japanese society. At a time when Confucian discourse dominated Japan, K?kai developed a "voice" for Buddhism. He has also written about Ry?kan and Saich?.
He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Keio University and his master's degree from School of Advanced International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University. He then received his M.Phil and Ph.D in religious studies from Columbia University. In 1991 he began teaching at Columbia, and in 1998 became the Kao Associate Professor of Japanese Religions. He is a recipient of the Philip and Ruth Hettleman Award for distinguished teaching.
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