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  1. CFP> The Third International Conference On the Wutai Cult
  2. WORKSHOP> Woodenfish Dunhuang Buddhist Studies Workshop 2017

CFP> The Third International Conference On the Wutai Cult

by Vicky Baker
Dates: August 8-11, 2017
Mount Clear and Cool and the Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra:
Multidisciplinary, Inter-cultural, and Interreligious Studies of the Mañjuśrī Cult, Mount Wutai, and the Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra
Primary Sponsor:    The Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures
Secondary Sponsors:      King’s College, University of London, UBC Buddhist Studies Forum
Host:                 Great Sage Monastery of Bamboo Grove
Venue:              Great Sage Monastery of Bamboo Grove, Mount Wutai
Dates:                August 8-10, 2017 (conference), August 11 (tour), 2017
The chapters on Where Bodhisattvas Dwell 菩薩住處品 in both the sixty- and eighty-roll Chinese translations of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra (Huayan jing 華嚴經, T. nos. 278-279) divulge that the Mahāyāna bodhisattva of wisdom, Mañjuśrī, resides on a mountain in the northeast called Mount Clear and Cool. Reading Mount Wutai, located in central China, as Mount Clear and Cool seems, therefore, to be inextricably tied to this scripture, narratives of its likely composition in Khotanese Sanskrit and subsequent translation into Chinese, Tibetan, and eventually Tangut and Mongolian, reception by political leaders, religious specialists, and devotees from Central and East Asia, and depiction at sacred spaces—including cave 61 of the Mogao caves near Dunhuang—across the region.
This conference explores trans-cultural, multi-ethnic, and cross-regional contexts and connections between the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra, Mount Wutai/Clear and Cool, and veneration of Mañjuśrī that contributed to the establishment and successive transformations of the cult centered on Mount Wutai—or reduplications elsewhere.
Topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:
  • Wutaishan’s/Qingliangshan’s status as a site linked to the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra in Asia;
  • Studies of Buddhist literature, rituals, performances, and sacred spaces with links to the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra or related texts (printed texts and manuscripts);
  • Various patterns of interactions between different religious traditions and the narratives of Wutaishan/Qingliangshan;
  • Presence of and interactions between different Buddhist traditions (Chan, Tiantai, Pure-land, Vinaya, Esotericism, Tibetan Buddhism, etc) with the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra and Wutaishan/Qingliangshan;
  • Political and military uses of Wutaishan/Qingliangshan and scriptures or manuscripts by competing powers in East Asia (the international rivalry revolving around Wutaishan/Qingliangshan, intensified by its location as a frontier territory for several major forces in Central and East Asia);
  • Imagination and perceptions of Wutaishan/Qingliangshan and related scriptures and manuscripts in East Asian countries and regions beyond China;
  • Wutaishan/Qingliangshan as the model after which sacred spaces (including sacred mountains, temples, and shrines) mentioned in scriptures or religious literature were “cloned” in the rest of Asia (Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Central Asia);
  • Wutaishan/Qingliangshan and/or the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra as the source of inspiration for different forms of literature and arts in Asia;
  • Wutaishan/Qingliangshan, the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra, or related scriptures or religious literature as a source of revelations for religious traditions, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist.
The organizing committee welcomes paper proposals related to any aspect(s) of the multidisciplinary, inter-cultural, and interreligious connections between Mount Wutai/Clear and Cool and the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra and the cult centered on Mañjuśrī or the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra. Interested scholars are invited to email  proposals and cvs to by March 1, 2017. All conference-related costs, including, local transportation, meals and accommodation during the conference period, will be covered by the conference organizers, who—depending on availability of funding—may also provide a modest travel subsidy to selected panelists who are in need of funding. This conference is planned as a continuation of two conferences on the Wutai cult that were held last two summers at Mount Wutai:
Our goal is to bring 15-18 international scholars to the conference, who will be joined by an equal number of China-based scholars working on the Buddhāvataṃsaka cult. Similar to the last two Wutai conferences, the conference this year will generate two conference proceedings: one in English and the other in Chinese. The English volume will collect all the papers in English, plus the English translations of several papers written in non-English languages; the Chinese volume, to be published in China, will include the Chinese versions for all non-Chinese papers in addition to those papers contributed by our colleagues based in China. Only scholars who are confident in finishing their draft papers by the middle of July and publishable papers by the end of 2017 are encouraged to apply.
This conference is planned as part of our annual Intensive Program of Lectures Series, Conference/Forum, and Fieldwork on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures. Interested graduate student and post-doctoral fellows are welcomed to apply for the whole program (details to be announced separately).  The intensive program itself is a component of an international and interdisciplinary program on Buddhism and East Asian religions (From the Ground Up) sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (
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WORKSHOP> Woodenfish Dunhuang Buddhist Studies Workshop 2017

by Guttorm Norberg Gundersen
Woodenfish Dunhuang Buddhist Studies Workshop 2017
Co-organized by the Woodenfish Foundation and Dunhuang Academy (敦煌研究院)
June 15th-26th, 2017
Application deadline: April 1st. Apply here:
The Mogao Cave complex in Dunhuang is the largest repository of medieval Buddhist art in China with over four hundred intricately painted caves. Yet, despite the importance of this site, thorough and reliable scholarship on the Buddhist history of the greater Dunhuang region remains a desire for both scholars internationally and in China.
The Woodenfish Dunhuang Buddhist Studies Workshop offers an annual venue for accomplished scholars of Dunhuang Buddhism to share their research and interact with young scholars in the field of Buddhism, art history and Dunhuang Studies. The short-term goal is to initiate new and critical perspectives on Dunhuang Buddhism and to stimulate interest among young scholars who will be given the opportunity to study Dunhuang Buddhism in situ. The long-term goal is to generate a foundation of new scholarship on Buddhism in the greater Dunhuang region and establish Dunhuang as a vibrant center for scholars and critical scholarship.
In our first year we are delighted to announce the following three lecturers. All three seminars will last for three days and will include considerable amount of time spent in the actual caves.
Angela F. Howard, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University. A Question of Identity: Who is the Cosmological Buddha? In this seminar she will use Buddhist texts and on-site examinations of the Dunhuang cave sculpture and paintings to consider the identity of the Chinese Cosmological Buddha.
Stephen F. Teiser, Professor, Princeton University. Chinese Buddhist Healing Rituals through Texts and Art. The seminar will explore the rich and varied traditions of healing rituals in Chinese Buddhism. Sources will include liturgies (ritual texts) that survive among the Dunhuang manuscripts, paintings on silk recovered from Dunhuang and wall paintings at Mogao Caves, and canonical Buddhist texts.
Sarah E. Fraser, Professor, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Avalokeitesvara in the History of Dunhuang Development. This seminar will follow Avalokitesvara during different phases of Dunhuang development and, at the same time, track how patronage and artistic practice have changed the content, structure, and architecture of the site.
The seminar is mainly for graduate student and early career scholars, but established scholars are also invited to apply. Successful applicants will get tuition, room and board covered by the organizers. We hope to be able to give out travel scholarships to select student. More information will be available soon.
Apply here:

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