All events are free and open to the public

Fall Term 2018

Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 5pm
Buddhist Textiles Along the Silk Road
Mariachiara Gasparini, University of California Riverside
180 Doe Memorial Library
UC Berkeley

Buddhist Textiles Along the Silk Road event image

In the field of Buddhist Studies textual sources provide a fundamental ground to analyze and compare philosophical and religious contexts developed in various geographic areas of the larger Asian continent. However, as a non-verbal form of communication, textile material evidence and visual representation may offer a different intercultural perspective that clarifies Buddhist rituals, and monastic and laic lifestyles along the Silk Road. Developed from a larger ontological and interdisciplinary study that will be published in 2019, this paper presents a few case studies from the Turfan Textile Collection in the Museum of Asian Art in Berlin, and the Dunhuang Textile Collections in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Mariachiara Gasparini received her Ph.D. in Transcultural Studies: Global Art History from Heidelberg University, Germany. Her research focuses on Central Asian textiles, material culture, wall painting, artist's praxis, and Sino-Iranian and Turko-Mongol interactions. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian Art at the University of California Riverside. Her book Transcending Patterns: Silk Road Cultural and Artistic Interactions through Central Asian Textiles (7th-14th century) is forthcoming (Hawai'i 2019).

This event is sponsored by the Tang Center for Silk Road Studies.

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 5pm
Tianzhu Annual Lecture
Reflections on the Movement to Revive the Precepts in Kamakura Japan:
With a focus on Eison's 叡尊 Chōmonshū 聴聞集

Paul Groner, University of Virginia
180 Doe Memorial Library
UC Berkeley

Tianzhu Annual Lecture image

Although Japanese monks are renowned for their disregard for the precepts and monastic discipline, serious monks were concerned with whether they actually were proper Buddhists or not. Professor Groner uses a set of fragments from Eison's 叡尊 (1201-1290) lectures to explore how serious monks strove to revive the precepts and ordinations. By delving into the background of some of the fragments of the lectures, he highlights some surprising aspects of the movement.

Paul Groner received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Yale and taught at the University of Virginia. His research focused on the Japanese Tendai School during the Heian period and the precepts and ordinations, which led to research on Eison, founder of the Shingon Ritsu sect, and the status of nuns in medieval Japan. In recent years, his interests have extended to the Tendai educational system during the Muromachi Period and to the establishment of Japan's first public library at the Tendai temple, Kan'eiji. His publications consist of Saichō: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School and Ryōgen and Mount Hiei: Japanese Tendai in the Tenth Century and approximately fifty papers.

Friday, November 9, 2018, 3 - 8 pm
2018 Toshihide Numata Book Award Presentation and Symposium
‘Meaning in the World and in Texts’: Thoughts on Buddhist Philosophy of Language
Jodo Shinshu Center, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

Tzohar image

The Toshihide Numata Book Award in Buddhism is awarded on an annual basis to an outstanding book or books in the area of Buddhist studies. The selection is made by an external committee that is appointed annually. This year's winner is Professor Roy Tzohar (Tel Aviv University) for his book A Yogācāra Buddhist Theory of Metaphor (Oxford University Press).

3:10 pm: Introduction and Award Presentation
3:30 pm: Keynote by Award Winner Roy Tzohar
4:30-4:45: Coffee Break
4:45 pm: Symposium
Jonardon Ganeri, New York University
Catherine Prueitt, George Mason University
Evan Thompson, University of British Columbia
6:00 pm: Discussion

Event Contact: buddhiststudies@berkeley.edu, 510.643.5104

Monday, December 3, 2018, 5 pm
The History and Science of Paper in Manuscripts of Central Asia
Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, University of Hamburg & University of Warsaw
180 Doe Memorial Library
UC Berkeley

The History and Science of Paper in Manuscripts of Central Asia image

Manuscripts from the Silk Road have been used as a key source in the study of religions, literature, and the cultural history of Central Asia. However, they have hardly ever been viewed as artifacts in their own right. As one of the most important physical features of a manuscript, paper serves as a means to distinguish one type of manuscript from another, and can help to determine the origin of a manuscript. This lecture, based on selected collections of paper and manuscripts found in the caves of Western Nepal, Tibet and Central Asia, surveys a variety of analytical techniques in comparison to codicological methods traditionally applied to manuscript studies. By broadening the scope of methods and ways of thinking, we may gain greater precision of temporal and regional attribution of excavated artifacts.

Agnieszka Helman-Ważny (Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg, and the Department of Books and Media History, Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies, University of Warsaw) is a paper scientist and the author or co-author of four books and over forty scholarly articles.

Co-sponsored by the Tang Center for Silk Road Studies.