"Stone Inscriptions from the Nirvāṇa-sūtra at Baoshan and Shanyingshan"
On a rock-face near Dazhusheng 大住聖 cave at Baoshan 寶山 (Henan), we find an undated inscription consisting of variations on the Brāhmana Jātaka verses from the Nirvāṇa-sūtra. The middle or central cave of Shanyingshan 善應山 (Henan) also includes Brāhmana Jātaka verses and images, as well as a passage on contemplation of the body from the Nirvāṇa-sūtra. I draw on these inscriptions and images to discuss presentations of practice as different forms of inversion of ordinary experience.
Wendi L. Adamek is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary and holder of the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies. Her research interests include medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism, Buddhist art, comparative philosophy, and environmental literature. Her forthcoming book Practicescape: The Buddhists of Baoshan centers on a seventh-century community in Henan, China. Previous publications include The Mystique of Transmission (AAR Award for Excellence in Textual Studies, 2008) and The Teachings of Master Wuzhu (2011). Born in Hawai’i, she earned her degrees at Stanford University and was won research fellowships at Kyoto University (Fulbright) and Peking University (NEH, Fulbright), the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
"Going on Pilgrimage in 19th Century China - The itinerary network in the Canxue zhijin 參學知津"
Marcus Bingenheimer was born in Germany. He obtained an MA (Sinology) and Dr.phil (History of Religions) from Würzburg University and an MA (Communication Studies) from Nagoya University. Marcus currently works as Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia. From 2005 to 2011 he taught Buddhism and Digital Humanities in Taiwan, where he also supervised various projects concerning the digitization of Buddhist culture.
His main research interests are the history of Buddhism in East Asia and early Buddhist sutra literature. Currently, he is working on Ming-Qing Chinese Buddhism with an emphasis on pilgrimage culture. Besides that Marcus is interested in the Digital Humanities and how to do research in the age of digital information.
"India in the Chinese Buddhist Imagination"
Buddhist cultures across Asia have always idealized Buddhist India. Often viewed as the land where Buddhism began, and yearned for as the fount of Truth, India has carried in the imaginations of Asian Buddhists the mystique of pure and hallowed origins. In this talk I discuss how Indian Buddhism was similarly represented in medieval China. In particular, I examine medieval Chinese hagiographies of the ancient Indian Buddhist patriarchs, which show how Chinese Buddhists constructed paradigms of Buddhist sainthood for a world without a Buddha. Chinese Buddhists sought to advance specific models of practice as the most effective means of achieving liberation, and they did so through narratives illustrating the trials and triumphs of their greatest Indian forebears. These narratives showed how the Indian patriarchs had saved the world by perfecting specific repertoires of practice, thus demonstrating how Buddhist sainthood could be achieved across the Sino-Indian divide.
Stuart Young (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Associate Professor of East Asian religions in the Religious Studies Department of Bucknell University. His first book, Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China (Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015), examines how medieval Chinese representations of ancient Indian Buddhism both reflected and influenced Chinese attempts to propagate Buddhism locally. He currently holds a Research Fellowship from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies and American Council of Learned Societies for work on his second book project, tentatively titled The Fabric of Monasticism: Buddhism and Silk Culture in Premodern China. This book will be the first in-depth study of how Chinese Buddhism shaped and was shaped by the ubiquitous Chinese silk industry.