As Christmas approaches, children in many parts of the world look forward to a visit from the potbellied Santa Claus, who comes down chimneys carrying a sackful of gifts over his shoulder. In Japan, some children also wait for Hotei, a jolly Japanese god with a rotund frame who carries a similar bag full of treasures. Hotei’s visit, however, coincides with the new year.
Megan Bryson, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a scholar of East Asian religions who studies the transformation of deities over time. She often explains to her students that cross-cultural encounters produce new understandings and images of gods. Read the full article on The Conversation.
UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.
Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375, email@example.com)