Phillip E. Bloom: “Born in the Latter Days of the Dharma: Ecology and Eternity in a Song-Dynasty Buddhist Monastery”
What are the spatial and temporal environments of a Chinese Buddhist monastery? What place does nature hold therein? To answer these questions, this talk will examine Shizhuanshan (Dazu County, Chongqing Municipality), a hilltop sanctuary in southwestern China constructed by a wealthy layman in the late eleventh century. It will argue that at Shizhuanshan, architecture, image, and text work together to transform the natural environment itself into a site for the eternal performance of Buddhist ritual.
Phillip E. Bloom is the Director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies and the Curator of the Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA.
Credit: “Map of Shizhuanshan kindly provided by Mr. Mi Defang 米德昉 of the Academy of Dazu Rock Carvings”