Eric P. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Professor of History; Director of Catholic Studies

Eric Cunningham is a Professor of History at Gonzaga University. A specialist in modern Japanese intellectual history, he received an MA in modern Japanese literature from the University of Oregon in 1999, and a PhD in History from the same institution...

Eric Cunningham

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Modern Japan, University of Oregon

M.A., Modern Japanese Literature, University of Oregon

B.A., History, University of Colorado, Bolder

Courses Taught

HIST 112: World Civilization 1500-present

HIST 331: World War II

HIST 364: Maoist China

HIST 370: Foundations of East Asian Civilization

HIST 375: Modern East Asian Civilization

HIST 376: Tokugawa Japan

HIST 378: Zen, Modernity, and the Counterculture


Eric Cunningham is a Professor of History at Gonzaga University. A specialist in modern Japanese intellectual history, he received an MA in modern Japanese literature from the University of Oregon in 1999, and a PhD in History from the same institution in 2004. Cunningham’s research interests include Japanese intellectual history, Zen Buddhism, Anthroposophy, religion, psychedelia, and postmodernism.

He is the author of Hallucinating the End of History: Nishida, Zen, and the Psychedelic Eschaton, (Academica Press, 2007), and Zen Past and Present (Association for American Studies, 2011). Cunningham lectures and writes on a wide range of topics, including Japanese history, film, Anthroposophy, and spirituality in the age of digital information.

Books

Hallucinating the End of History: Nishida, Zen and the Psychedelic Eschaton (Bethesda: Academica Press, 2007) ISBN 1933146281

Zen Past and Present Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) Series (Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, 2011) ISBN 978-0-924304-64-4

Chapters in Edited Books

“Beholding the Eschaton: Transforming Self and World through the Study of World History,” in Becoming Beholders: Cultivating Sacramental Imagination and Actions in College Classrooms (Liturgical Press: 2014) ISBN 978-0814682715.

“A Glorious Failure: The Mission of St. Francis Xavier to Japan and its Meaning for Contemporary Evangelization,” in A Voluntary Exile: Chinese Christianity and Cultural Confluence since 1552 (Lehigh University Press, 2013) ISBN 978-1611451480.

“From Beat to Hardcore: New Twists on Phony Zen,” in Beating Devils and Burning Their Books: Views of China, Japan, and the West. Asia Past and Present Series, no. 6 (Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, 2010) ISBN 978-0924304606

“The Chinese Did Not Reach America” Popular Controversies in World History (San Marcos, Calif: Mesa Verde Publishing, 2010) ISBN 978-1-59884-077-3

Articles in Refereed Publications

“Cultivating Enlightenment: The Manifold Meaning of Japanese Zen Gardens.” Education About Asia, vol. 21 no. 3 (Winter, 2016); 32-36.

“Coincidentia Oppositorum to Ai.” Translation and commentary on Nishida Kitarō’s “The Union of Opposites and Love.” Comparative and Continental Philosophy vol. 5 no. 2 (November 2013): 116-123. (See also “Major Translations”)

“A Roundtable Discussion of Hiroshi Kitamura’s Screening Enlightenment: Hollywood and the Cultural Reconstruction of Defeated Japan. Published in Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review, vol. 43 no. 2, September 2012 (6-16)

“The Self-Determination of Absolute Nothingness: The Origins and Implications of Nishida Kitarō’s Historical Philosophy,” in E-ASPAC, an Electronic Journal in Asian Studies, 2006-07 http://mcel.pacificu.edu/easpac/2005/cunningham.php3

“Ecstatic Treks in the Demon Regions: Zen Scholars and the Satori of Psychedelic Experience,” in E-ASPAC, an Electronic Journal in Asian Studies, 2004-05. http://mcel.pacificu.edu/easpac/2005/cunningham.php3, http://www.erowid.org/spirit/traditions/buddhism/buddhism.shtml

“The Cold War in Northeast Asia: An overview.” Education About Asia, vol. 14 no. 3 (Winter, 2009). Published by the Association for Asian Studies.

Articles in National Catholic Publications

“The Beauty that Beckons Us,” Homiletics and Pastoral Review, Part I, May 12, 2015 and Part II, May 31, 2015. http://www.hprweb.com/2015/05/the-beauty-that-beckons-us/

“Catholic Universities: Identity, Faith, and Power,” Catholic World Report, January 28, 2014. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2892/catholic_universities_identity_faith_and_power.aspx.

“Observations on Ex Corde and its Fitful Implementation,” Homiletics and Pastoral Review, February 2014. http://www.hprweb.com/2014/02/observations-on-ex-corde-ecclesiae-and-its-fitful-implementation/

“Zen: What Catholics Should Know,” Ignatius Insight, December 2, 2012. http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2011/ecunningham_zen_dec2011.asp

Articles in Non-Encyclopedic Reference Works

“The Fourteen-Part Memorandum,” Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources that Shaped the World. Edited by Brian Bonhomme (Dallas: Schlager Group, 2010). ISBN 978-0-9797758-6-4

“The Treaty of Nanjing,” Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources that Shaped the World. Edited by Brian Bonhomme (Dallas: Schlager Group, 2010). ISBN 978-0-9797758-6-4

“Daoist Meditations,” Milestone Documents in World History. http://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/daoist-meditations/

“Zheng He: Inscription to the Goddess the Celestial Spouse,” Milestone Documents in World History. http://www.milestonedocuments.com/documents/view/zheng-he-inscription-to-the-goddess-the-celestial-spouse

“Eschatology and the End of the Modern World,” a lecture produced for Classic Insights online university. http://classicinsights.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50

“Buddhism and Spiritual Science” a lecture produced for Classic Insights online university http://www.classicinsights.com/courses/course-descriptions/109-buddhism-and-spiritual-science

Major Translations

“Coincidentia Oppositorum to Ai.” Translation and commentary on Nishida Kitarō’s “The Union of Opposites and Love.” Comparative and Continental Philosophy vol. 5 no. 2 (November 2013): 116-123.

“From Age to Age.” Translation of Nennen Saisai, by Agawa Hiroyuki. Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, vol. 2. 2007. ISBN 0231138040

Encyclopedia Articles

“Christian Centuries in China and Japan.” The Encyclopedia of World History. ABC-CLIO, 2009

“D.T. Suzuki,” “Shaku Sōen,” and “Terence McKenna.” The Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2004. ISBN 1851096493.

“Bushido,” “Dead reckoning and latitude,” “Greater Japan Women’s Association,” “Island hopping and leap-frogging,” “Japan, political development (1867-1939),” “Juche ideology,” “Modernity,” “Relocation centers: World War II,” “Truman Doctrine (Korean War),” “U.S. Occupation of Japan (Korean War).” United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. ISSN 1556-7516.

Book Reviews

Review of In Search of Japan’s Hidden Christians by John Dougill, in Catholic World Report, July 9, 2016. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/4909/a_flawed_search_for_japans_hidden_christianity.aspx

Review of Heaven in Conflict: Franciscans and the Boxer Uprising in Shanxi, by Anthony Clark, in Catholic World Report, February 17, 2015. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3700/franciscans_boxers_and_heavenly_battles.aspx

Review of Nisei Soldiers Break their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River by Linda Tamura in Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, vol. 27, no. 3 (Fall 2013).

Review of Beauty Will Save the World by Gregory Wolfe in Catholic World Report, April 30, 2012. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1306/can_beauty_save_the_world.aspx#.UdrryVdDn0s 

Review of Purifying Zen: Watsuji Tetsurō’s Shamon Dogen, translated with commentary by Steve Bein in The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 71 no. 4 (November 2012): 1155-57.

Review of Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese America, by Shelley Sang-Hee Lee in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, vol. 103, no. 1 Winter 2011/12 (44).

Review of Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West, by Shoji Yamada in Education About Asia vol. 15, no. 2 (Fall 2010).

Review of Japan After Japan: Social and Cultural Life From the Recessionary 1990s to the Present, ed. Harry Harootunian and Tomiko Yoda in The Canadian Journal of History, (Winter, 2007-08).

Review of Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society and Self in Classical China by Martin J. Powers in The Historian, (Summer, 2008).

Review of The Seattle Bungalow: People and Houses, 1900-1940 by Janet Ore, in Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, Spring, 2007.

Review of Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites by Jeffrey Burton et al., and Shirakawa: Stories from a Pacific Northwest Japanese American Community by Stan Flewelling, in Pacific Northwest Quarterly 94, (Fall 2003) 210-211.

Non-Refereed and Campus Publications

March, 2013: “The Peasants War of 2015” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, 2012-13.

March, 2012: “A Struggle Unto Death, Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion. Spring, 2012.

April, 2011: “Who Are We and Where are We Going? The Ruminations of a Bewildered Witness, Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion. Spring, 2011.

April, 2010: “The Elites of our Mediocracy: A Meditation on Sports and the Death of Quality in America.” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion. Spring, 2010.

November, 2009: “Collapse of the Debt Money Economy,” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion. Fall 2009.

April, 2009: “Stigmata and Apparitions,” The Gonzaga Witness, April, 2009.

February, 2009: “Miracles and the Natural World,” The Gonzaga Witness. February, 2009.

January, 2009: “Our Culture’s Rejection of Miracles,” The Gonzaga Witness. January, 2009.

November 2008: “Invest Globally, Suffer Economic Catastrophe Locally.” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, Fall, 2008.

April 2008: “The Omega Point: When Information becomes Eternity.” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, Spring, 2008.

February 2008: “Keeping the End in View.” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, Winter, 2008.

November 2007: “Eating God.” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, Fall, 2007.

May 2007: “The Day of the Jackpot.” The Gonzaga Quarterly, Winter, 2007.

May 2007: “What Color is Your Merkaba?” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, 2007- no. 4.

December 2006: “Embedded in Archetype, Entombed in Matter,” Charter: Gonzaga’s Journal of Scholarship and Opinion, 2006 no. 2.

May, 2006: “Traces of a Lost Matriarchy: Evidence of Female Initiation Rites in the Diary of Lady Sarashina,” The Feminist Papers, v. 7, 2006. A publication of the Gonzaga University Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

May, 2006: “Mythbusting: Galileo Was a Martyr for Science,” The Gonzaga Witness. v. 4 no. 4.

“Lingering Snow,” Short fiction published in Timberline, University of Oregon, Spring, 2003.