SOAS University of London

Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions

Ascetic Practices in Japanese Religion

Tullio Lobetti

Date: 9 January 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 9 January 2014Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Royal Asiatic Society

Type of Event: Book Launch


Ascetic practices are a common feature of religion in Japan, practiced by different religious traditions. This book looks at these ascetic practices in an inter-sectarian and inter-doctrinal fashion, in order to highlight the underlying themes common to all forms of asceticism. It does so by employing a multidisciplinary methodology, which integrates participant fieldwork – the author himself engaged extensively in ascetic practices – with a hermeneutical interpretation of the body as the primary locus of transmission of the ascetic ‘embodied tradition’. By unlocking this ‘bodily data’, the book unveils the human body as the main tool and text of ascetic practice. This book includes discussion of the many extraordinary rituals practiced by Japanese ascetics.


Tullio Lobetti graduated in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of Turin in 2003. Since then, he pursued his interest in the study of religion in Japan  by obtaining an MA degree in Japanese Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS - University of London) in 2004. In 2011 he obtained his PhD from SOAS on the topic ‘Body and Ascetic Practices in Contemporary Japanese Religious Context’. He is now  Senior Teaching Fellow in the department of the Study of Religions at SOAS.

Organiser: Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4950