The Robert Morrell Memorial Lecture in Asian Religions

The Legacy of Robert Morrell

The Morrell Memorial Lecture in Asian Religions commemorates the work of the late Professor Emeritus Robert E. Morrell, a specialist in Japanese literature and Buddhism who taught at Washington University for 34 years and who holds special significance for the campus, as Morrell was the first to teach a course on Buddhism. This annual series commemorates his life work by bringing distinguished scholars of Asian religions to campus.

An authority on Buddhist thought in classical Japanese literature, Morrell was author of Early Kamakura Buddhism: A Minority Report (1987), which focused on smaller and frequently overlooked Buddhist sects of the Kamakura period; and Sand and Pebbles: The Tales of Muju Ichien, A Voice for Pluralism in Kamakura Buddhism (1985), the first complete English rendering of Muju’s “Shasekishu” parables. To learn more about Morrell's life and work, read his obituary.



2021-2022 Morrell Memorial Lecture

Gods and Things in Four Asian Places

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Time:  6:00 pm

Prof. Laurel Kendall
Curator of Asian Ethnographic Collections at the American Museum of Natural History
and Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University





Past Lectures


"Religious Self-Cultivation as Politics: Examples from Grassroots-Level Activism in Japan"

Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State University)


"Foxes, Gods and Monsters in the Edo Anthropocene"

Michael Bathgate (Saint Xavier University)


"Dreaming Religious Identity: Master Zhou's Communications with the Unseen World"

Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University)


"Gratitute and Treasuring Lives: Eating Animals in Contemporary Japanese Buddhism"

Barbara R. Ambros (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)