Reverently I Pray: Buddhist Prayers from Ancient and Early Medieval Japan


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Translation Grants in Buddhist Studies


Religious Studies


This project asks how doctrinal and devotional commitments play out in the everyday, as Buddhists grapple with life, death, anxiety, love, and hope. It does so through the literary translation of prayer-texts (ganmon) from Japan’s Heian period (794–1185), inviting English-language readers into the aesthetic and ritual dimensions of devotion to the buddhas. By conveying the allusive elegance of prayer-texts, it aims to show that prayer in general and Buddhist prayer in particular is ineluctably literary: the style and sheer craft of its expression are central to how—and what—it means, feels, and does.