THE SPIRIT WORLD TAASA Monday Night Sydney Lecture Series – TAASA Review September 2019


This article was originally found in the September 2019 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 28, Issue 3, Page 27).

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Monday 6 May 2019 Jin and local lords of the earth James Bennett James argued that stories of the spirit world, always connected to the ancestral world, were invariably tied up with the sacred, and references to them have been evident in sacred art in Java since the 16th century.

Drawing on examples from his exhibition No god but God: the art of Islam, James demonstrated that these artefacts are not just sacred objects but act as intermediary to the spirit world and the imagery found on them often reference various local jin, such as those connected with forests or with dance. Monday 3 June 2019 Japanese Mountain Asceticism John McBride John McBride explained the complex background to Shugendo, a syncretic mix of Shinto, Daoist and esoteric Buddhist beliefs, which offers a way of achieving spiritual power through linking the power of nature and the mountains with the mundane world.

Practitioners undertake difficult pilgrimages through sacred and challenging mountain trails...