Table of Contents
- CALL FOR PAPERS> AAR 2017 panel on Yogācāra and Meditation, East Asia
- WORKSHOP> International Max Planck Workshop "Sangha Economies"
- NEW BOOK> Research on the Madhyama-āgama
- LECTURE> James Benn on “Buddhism and the Invention of Tea Culture in Medieval China”
by Karin Meyers
I am organizing a panel on Yogācāra and Meditation for this November's annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Boston, Nov 18-21, 2017), and am in need of proposals focusing on East Asian Buddhism.
A paper for the panel could treat one of a number of related topics: meditation theory/practice as discussed in a Yogacara text; how earlier meditation theory/practice might have influenced Yogacara texts (or debates about this); how Yogacara thought has influenced particular Buddhist practice traditions; Yogacara theory in light of contemporary practice traditions; how Yogacara meditation theory/practice compares to other Buddhist practice traditions, etc.
If you're interested in proposing a paper on this topic, please email me (email@example.com) your topic idea ASAP. I'll need a 200 word (max) abstract plus a 1000 word (max) proposal by February 26th.
Centre for Buddhist Studies
at Rangjung Yeshe Institute
Kathmandu University, Nepal
by Christoph BrumannDear all,
Just a quick reminder that the deadline for the below workshop is close. Professor David Gellner (Oxford) has kindly agreed to act as a discussant.
Best, Christoph Brumann
International Max Planck Workshop
"Sangha Economies: Temple Organisation and Exchanges in Contemporary Buddhism"
21 – 22 September 2017
Organisers: Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko, Christoph Brumann, Beata Świtek (Research Group “Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia”, http://www.eth.mpg.de/3534110/buddhist_temple_economies)
Venue: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany
No other “world religion” has given monasticism such a central role as Buddhism in which the sangha – the community of monks and, where recognised, nuns – is one of the "three jewels" (together with the Buddha and his teachings). While the first monks where itinerant mendicants, their successors settled down, eventually establishing prosperous and often very long-lived institutions. When these house hundreds or even thousands of monks or nuns, it is only natural that economic and management concerns arise. But these are no less pressing when, as in Japan, most temples are sustained by just a single priest and his family.
Questions pertaining to the economic organisation of Buddhist monasteries and temples have been neglected for a long time, reflecting the otherworldly orientation of Buddhist doctrine that sees the attachment to worldly riches as a hindrance for salvation and enlightenment. In recent years, however, there is a perceptible turn towards “managing monks” (Jonathan Silk), with several historical studies showing how economic pursuits were part and parcel of Buddhist monasticism from early on. Contemporary Buddhism is increasingly being scrutinised for its economic entanglements, both in theological attempts to construct a Buddhist economic ethics and in empirical investigations.
In this international workshop, we wish to focus on the sangha, its institutions, and its interactions with the laity. We apply an empirical perspective: doctrinal reasoning is important in real-life situations but does not suffice to explain the actual flow of goods and services within, towards, and away from Buddhist temples. We seek rich ethnographic studies of such flows, how they are socially and politically embedded, and how clergy and laity justify and evaluate them. We are particularly interested in economic transactions that involve monks, priests and nuns within the classic Buddhist traditions of Theravada and Mahayana (Buddhist lay movements and lay practices that bypass the clergy are outside our focus).
Crucial aspects include the conceptualisation of exchanges with the sangha. Can there be such a thing as a “free” and pure-hearted gift, devoid of the self-interest that, in orthodox formulations, would subvert the intended merit-making of the layperson? Payments for ritual services can be interpreted as donations but also as fees and reimbursements, with symbolic distinction being symbolically marked. How do gifts to the sangha affect the status and credibility of giver and recipient, and what happens when family and kin ties influence the flow of resources?
Equally important is the economics of the institutions that build on such clergy-laity exchanges. Can one speak of a unified temple economy at all when sub-units such as colleges, households within temple precincts, and/or individual monks and nuns transact autonomously on the basis of separate property and funds? What is considered acceptable in terms of commercial activities, investments, and paid visits? State law and institutions, expectations of charity and social welfare contributions, and the nature of the setting (with cities having more volatile social relations) also have an influence. Finally, we are interested in the self-reflection of Buddhist practitioners and believers, particularly when socialist ideologies or Buddhist modernism have branded traditional modes of temple support as questionable or even parasitic. Is there a discourse of crisis or is regeneration also a possibility?
We expect participants to pre-circulate their papers and, after the workshop, to revise them for an edited volume or special journal issue by 15 January 2018.
Abstracts of proposals (500 words maximum) should reach all three convenors by 1 March 2017 (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>). Please send inquiries to all of us. The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology will cover travel and accommodation costs for accepted speakers.
by Bhikkhunī DhammadinnāDear Colleagues,
the Āgama Research Group at the Department of Buddhist Studies of the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts is happy to announce the publication of the proceedings of the seminar on the Madhyama-āgama that was held in October 2015:
Dhammadinnā (ed.), Research on the Madhyama-āgama (Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts Research Series 5), Taipei: Dharma Drum Publishing Co., 2017.
Here are the contents:
- Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) Research Series (Bhikṣu Huimin)
- Preface (Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā)
- Sūtras in the Senior Kharoṣṭhī Manuscript Collection with Parallels in the Majjhima-nikāya and/or the Madhyama-āgama (Mark Allon & Blair Silverlock)
- The School Affiliation of the Madhyama-āgama (Bhikkhu Anālayo)
- Ekottarika-type Material in the Madhyama-āgama (Roderick S. Bucknell)
- The Śrutānṛśaṃsa-sūtra of the Dīrgha-āgama in Comparison with the Wende jing 聞德經 of the Madhyama-āgama (Jin-il Chung)
- Back to the Future of Prof. Akanuma’s Age: A Research History of the School Affiliation of the Madhyama-āgama in Japan (Takamichi Fukita)
- A Quantitative Textual Analysis of the Translation Idiom of the Madhyama-āgama and the Ekottarika-āgama (Jen-jou Hung & Bhikkhu Anālayo)
- The Underlying Language of the Chinese Translation of the Madhyama-āgama (Seishi Karashima)
- Were the Ekottarika-āgama and the Madhyama-āgama Translated by the Same Person? An Assessment on the Basis of Translation Style (Michael Radich & Bhikkhu Anālayo)
On the Evolution of Written Āgama Collections in Northern Buddhist Traditions (Richard Salomon)
- The Many Lives of Texts: The Pañcatraya and Māyājāla Sūtras (Peter Skilling)
- The Indic Versions of the *Dakṣiṇāvibhaṅga-sūtra: Some Thoughts on the Early Transmission of Āgama Texts (Ingo Strauch)
Kindly note that the publisher, Dharma Drum Publishing Co., is connected to but independent from the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts. The book is available for sale through their website or via the distributor BibliaImpex.
ARG publications: http://agamaresearch.dila.edu.tw/publications
Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation: http://www.ddc.com.tw/book/detail.php?id=5233
BibliaImpex Distribution: http://www.bibliaimpex.com
With best wishes,
Āgama Research Group
Department of Buddhist Studies
Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts
by Jimmy YuDear Colleagues,
We are delighted to announce the 4th Sheng Yen Lecture Series speaker this year, Dr. James Benn, who will be speaking on “Buddhism and the Invention of Tea Culture in Medieval China” at the Florida State University, in Dodd Hall Auditorium, on March 3rd, from 4:30-5:30pm. More information can be found here: http://religion.fsu.edu/documents/lecture_shengyen_BENN_2017.pdf
The dramatic change in Chinese drinking habits that occurred in the eighth century CE cannot be understood without considering the crucial role of Buddhist ideas, institutions, and individuals in creating a new culture around the consumption of tea. Benn's lecture will look closely at the surviving artistic, material, and literary evidence for Buddhist involvement in the invention of a Chinese tea culture during the Tang and Song dynasties, roughly seventh through thirteenth centuries.
James Benn is a Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. His research evolves around three major areas of research: bodily practice in Chinese Religions; the ways in which people create and transmit new religious practices and doctrines; and the religious dimensions of commodity culture. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism and Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History, and numerous other articles.
The lecture is open to public, and you are all invited. If you are unable to attend, a video recording of his talk will eventually be posted on our FSU Religion Dept Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9dI0od6iK-BeA8CUEWxJw
Hope to see you at the lecture.
Sheng Yen Associate Professor of Chinese Buddhist Studies
Co-editor, Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies
Florida State University
Department of Religion, 120D Dodd Hall
641 University Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1520
Office Phone: 850-615-1406
Office Fax: 850-644-7225
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