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Numata Lecture

Thursday, November 04, 2010, 7:55 am

Dr. Kenneth Lee, professor at the California State University, Northridge, will be Fall Numata Lecture, speaking on “Shinran’s Devotional Hymn of Prince Shotoku: Kotaishi Shotoku Hosan,” Friday, November 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley at the Jodo Shinshu Center.

Dr. Lee is teaches courses in Asian religions, world religions, Indo-Tibetan and East Asian Buddhism, philosophy or religion, and comparative religions. He received his doctorate from Columbia University, where he specialized in Japanese Buddhism. His book, “The Prince and the Monk: Shotoku Worship in Shinran’s Buddhism,” traces the evolution of Shotoku worship in Japanese Buddhism.

Prince Shotoku is revered is greatly revered by Shinran, as the founder of Buddhism in Japan. The lecture is open and free to the public.

Numata Lecture: Shinran’s Devotional Hymn of Prince Shotoku: Kōtaishi Shōtoku hōsan

November 19, 2010
3:00 pmto5:00 pm

This fall’s Numata lecture will be delivered by Dr. Kenneth Lee at the Institute of Buddhist Studies on November 19th. More details about this event are forthcoming.

Please contact the Institute with any questions.

Kenneth Lee joined the California State University, Northridge faculty in the fall of 2006 to teach courses in Asian religions, world religions, Indo-Tibetan and East Asian Buddhism, philosophy of religion, and comparative religions. His book, The Prince and the Monk: Shotoku Worship in Shinran’s Buddhism, traces the evolution of Shotoku worship in Japanese Buddhism.

How Dhāraṇīs Were Proto-tantric: Ritual Uses of Buddhist Spells in Dunhuang and Beyond

April 30, 2010
3:00 pmto5:00 pm

Jacob Dalton

Spring 2010 Numata Lecture

Prof. Jacob Dalton of the University of California, Berkeley, will present this spring’s Numata lecture titled How Dhāraṇīs Were Proto-tantric: Ritual Uses of Buddhist Spells in Dunhuang and Beyond.

Paper Abstract: The Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang include a large number of copied dhāraṇīs, both sūtras and stand-alone spells. In this talk I will examine the content, the colophons, and the formats of these manuscripts and attempt to draw some broader conclusions about how dhāraṇīs were used by early Tibetan Buddhists living around Dunhuang. I will then turn to the dhāraṇī collections (dhāraṇī-saṃgraha). The contents of these collections could vary according to the interests of the manuscripts’ owners, yet certain shared patterns may be discerned. The significance of these formal patterns becomes clear when we see how the same template was used by later Tibetans to structure the dhāraṇī (gzungs ‘dus) section of their Tibetan canon (bka’ ‘gyur). Finally, I will step back to consider the historical development of dhāraṇī ritual practice and textual codification in light of the emergence of the tantras around the seventh century.

Jacob Dalton received his B.A. (Religious Studies) from Marlboro College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. (Buddhist Studies) from the University of Michigan. After working for three years (2002-05) as a researcher with the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, he taught at Yale University (2005-2008) before moving to Berkeley. He works on Nyingma religious history, tantric ritual, paleography, and the Dunhuang manuscripts. He is the author of a forthcoming study on violence and the formation of Tibetan Buddhism, and co-author of Tibetan Tantric Manuscripts from Dunhuang: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Stein Collection at the British Library (Brill, 2006). He is currently working on a history of Tibetan Buddhism, as seen through the eyes of the “Sutra Empowerment” (Mdo dbang) tradition of the Nyingma school. Future plans include a study of tantric ritual in the Dunhuang manuscripts.
Please contact the IBS or check back here for more information.

April 30, 2010, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Jodo Shinshu Center
2140 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
Contact the IBS for more information.

Numata Public Lecture: Changing Roles of the Written Word in Theravada Buddhism

October 9, 2009
5:00 pmto7:00 pm

This fall, the Numata Public Lecture will feature a talk by Prof. Daniel Veidlinger of California State University, Chico, hosted by the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Jodo Shinshu Center on October 9th.

Lecture description: Early Buddhism arose in an oral world where monks were charged with memorizing the words of the Buddha in order to preserve them. Writing is not mentioned in the Pali canon, and there is little emphasis on the idea of honoring or even using books in authoritative Theravada literature until the end of the first millennium CE. On the other hand, key Mahayana texts have from the beginning reserved their highest praise for the Dharma-bearing written word, and archeological and iconographic evidence as well as accounts of Chinese travelers suggest that stupas were made to enshrine texts and that books were the subject of votive cults. In predominantly Theravada regions such as Burma, Sri Lanka and central Thailand, a positive change of attitude towards books and writing coincided with the height of Mahayana influence in those areas, which led to the ritual veneration of books and manuscripts in these parts of the Theravada world as well.

About the speaker: Daniel Veidlinger received his Ph.D. from the South Asian Languages and Civilizations department at the University of Chicago and is currently an associate professor of Asian Religions at California State University, Chico. His research focuses on the roles that different communications media have played in the formulation and transmission of Buddhist texts and ideas. Professor Veidlinger’s recent book Spreading the Dhamma: Writing, Orality and Textual Transmission in Buddhist Northern Thailand is published by University of Hawaii Press.

For more information or to RSVP for this event, please contact Kumi Hadler at the IBS.

Numata Public Lectures are generously supported by the Numata Foundation in association with the Institute of Buddhist Studies and are free and open to the public.

Compassionate Violence, Torture and Warfare in the Bodhisattva Ideal

April 17, 2009
5:00 pmto7:00 pm

Lecture: “Compassionate Violence, Torture and Warfare in the Bodhisattva Ideal”
by Prof. Steve Jenkins (Religious Studies, Humboldt State University)

Buddhist allowances for compassionate torture, killing, and warfare are dissonant with with the established perception of Buddhist pacifism. While academic studies of Buddhism have accepted that Mahayana and Tantric though allows for such actions, it has been argued that these allowances are rare and narrow allegorical or magical references, not general ethical guidelines. Prof. Steve Jenkins argues that Buddhist allowances for violence are broad and authoritatively attested to in both Yogacara and Madhyamaka treatises of Mahayana sources. Building on previous work, a survey of tantric sadhanas for killing, and references to Buddhist art and folklore, this lecture argues that the exaggeration of Mahayana pacifism has created a false negative space for the evaluation of trantrism.

The lecture will be held at the
Jodo Shinshu Center
2140 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Free and open to the public.
RSVP requested: (510) 809-1444 /

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