Events

All events are free and open to the public



Spring Term 2015



Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 5-7 pm
Transactional Reality and the Regimes of Truth
Sara McClintock, Department of Religion, Emory University
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and the Center for Buddhist Studies


Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Sixth International Ryūkoku Symposium on Buddhism and Japanese Culture
Speakers:
 •  Yukio Kusaka, Professor of the Department of Japanese Literature,
     Ryukoku University
 •  Sei Noro, Lecturer of the Department of Buddhist Studies, Ryukoku
     University
 •  Jijun Yoshida, Adjunct Lecturer of the Department of Buddhist Studies,
     Ryukoku University
 •  Takahiko Kameyama, Former Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Institute of
     Buddhist Studies
 •  "Tatsuo" Florian Saile, Buddhist Studies Graduate Student, UC Berkeley;
     Koufukuji Temple Monk
 •  Mark Blum, Buddhist Studies and Shinjo Ito Distinguished Professor in
     Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley
Jodo Shinshu Center, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Ryukoku University

SCHEDULE
Each talk will last 50 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A

Morning Session | 9:00AM-12:00PM (will be conducted in Japanese)

1. 真宗の唱道勧化本について
日下幸男氏(龍谷大学文学部教授)
Revealing the Teachings: Popular Sermons (shōdō kange bon 唱道勧化本) in Shin Buddhism
Yukio Kusaka
(Professor of the Department of Japanese Literature, Ryukoku University)

2. 日本華厳における「論義」について
野呂 靖氏(龍谷大学文学部専任講師)
"Doctrinal Debate" (rongi 論義) in Kegon School
Sei Noro
(Lecturer of the Department of Buddhist Studies, Ryukoku University)

3. 初期日本天台における他宗との論争
吉田慈順氏(龍谷大学文学部非常勤講師)
Early Tendai Buddhist Disputes with Other Schools
Jijun Yoshida
(Adjunct Lecturer of the Department of Buddhist Studies, Ryukoku University)

BREAK

Afternoon Session | 2:00-5:00PM (will be conducted in English)

4. 中世真言密教における「信」
亀山隆彦氏(前IBS博士研究員)
The Significance of "Faith" in Medieval Shingon Buddhism
Takahiko Kameyama
(Ex-Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Institute of Buddhist Studies)

5. 日本中世の法相教学の展開―法相論義における「一乗」の解釈を中心として―
The One or the Three, the One and the Three, and/or the One as the Three: Observations on the Evolution of the Relationship between the 'Single Vehicle' and the 'Three Vehicles' in Medieval Japanese Hossō Thought
"Tatsuo" Florian Saile
(Buddhist Studies Graduate Student, UC Berkeley; Koufukuji Temple Monk)

6. 講演: Contextualizing Posthumous Kaimyō Ritual in Japan: Indian and Chinese Precedents for Renaming the Dead.
Mark Blum
(Buddhist Studies and Shinjo Ito Distinguished Professor in Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley)

Event Contact: cjs-events@berkeley.edu, 510‑642‑3415


Thursday, April 2, 2015, 5 pm
Mulling over Mantras: Views from Story Literature and Philosophers
Phyllis Granoff, Yale University
Stories of Esoteric Buddhist Rituals: Examples from the Shasekishū
Koichi Shinohara, Yale University
180 Doe Library

Mulling over Mantras: Views from Story Literature and Philosophers
In this paper I explore how certain tantric rituals, particularly mantra recitation and mandala rituals, were viewed in stories and philosophical literature. It is well known that in Sanskrit literature a certain group of Tantric practitioners were seen as lascivious drunkards. These practitioners belong to the more extreme end of Tantric practice. But what about the average individuals who might have made use of tantric rituals? What did they think about mantra recitation or mandala rites? I turn to more stories to answer this question. The stories I have chosen suggest that there was a pervasive anxiety about all these ritual technologies. Often humorous and always bordering on the fantastic, the stories tell us that tantric practices made people nervous for a host of reasons. In the second part of the paper I look at a philosopher's concern about these ritual technologies. The century Jain philosopher Amṛtacandra found in mantras a particular challenge to his understanding of the relationship of the soul to the material world. Mulling over mantras, people in medieval India found much to ponder.

Stories of Esoteric Buddhist Rituals: Examples from the Shasekishū
Sources preserved in Chinese translation enable us to trace how Esoteric Buddhist rituals evolved from the recitation of spells to include image worship and finally maṇḍala initiations that eventually incorporated elaborate visualization practices. Anxiety over the ritual's efficacy drove this evolution. Ritual manuals, often secret, and stories about Esoteric masters follow different narrative strategies. But the anxiety revealed in the ritual manuals with their need to demonstrate the efficacy of their rituals shaped the formation of these stories as well. The paper illustrates this pattern with a few examples taken from the Japanese story collection Shasekishū compiled by Mujū (1226–1312).


Thursday, April 9, 2015, 5 pm
2015 Numata Lecture
Contradictions in Textual Narrations and Confusion in Visual Art: Revisiting the Seven Weeks after the Enlightenment of the Buddha
Osmund Bopearachchi, Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, UC Berkeley
180 Doe Library

2015 Numata Lecture

The aim of this talk is to discuss an important relief belonging to the Andhra school of art recently discovered in Sri Lanka, adding to the growing body of archaeological evidence indicating brisk exchanges between the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and their co-religionists in the Krishna valley. The relief depicts the events that took place during the first seven weeks immediately following the Sambodhi of the Buddha Gautama. Looking at its style, and the fact that is was carved out of hard limestone, it is quite possible that it was made in Andhra and brought to the island by a pious trader or a monk, or sculpted on the island by an Andhra artist. In spite of its bad state of preservation most of the scenes can be identified, enabling us to answer many questions regarding the apparent contradictions between the literary evidence and visual representation. According to the Mahāvastu and the Lalitavistara, the Buddha spent seven weeks after his enlightenment near the Bodhi tree, yet four weeks according to the Vinaya-Piṭaka. Sri Lankan artists of the later periods, particularly in mural painting, preferred to depict the seven-week account and the sculpture under discussion, dating to the 4th or the 5th century C.E., is the oldest document confirming the popularity of this version on the island. Furthermore, the "seven weeks" motif depicted in this relief follows the chronological order given in the Nidānakathā and Mahābodhi-Vaṁsa of the Pāli tradition.

Osmund Bopearachchi currently serves as the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and is Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS-ENS, Paris). Osmund Bopearachchi holds a B.A. from the University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka), and B.A. honors, (M.A.), M.Phil., Ph.D. from the Paris I‑Sorbonne University, and a Higher Doctorate (Habilitation) from the Paris IV-Sorbonne University.

As the Trung Lam Visiting Scholar in Central Asian Art and Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Bopearachchi is working on a new catalogue of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Coins, as well as the publication of a selection of hitherto unknown masterpieces of Buddhist art from Gandhāra and Greater Gandhāra dispersed in museums and private collections in Japan, Europe, Canada and United States of America.

For the last twenty years, he has been the director of the Sri Lanka-French Archaeological Mission, and has recently launched a joint project focusing on Sri Lanka's role in ancient maritime trade in the Indian Ocean. In collaboration with the Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka), the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (Texas A & M University), the University of California at Berkeley, and the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris (CNRS), he is currently excavating the most ancient shipwreck in the Indian Ocean dating back to the 2nd century B.C.E.

Osmund Bopearachchi has authored ten books, edited six volumes, and published 150 articles in international journals.


Friday-Saturday, April 17-18, 2015
When Modernity Hits Hard: Redefining Buddhism in Meiji-Taisho-Early Shōwa Japan
Speakers:
 •  Mark Blum, UC Berkeley
 •  Melissa Curley, University of Iowa
 •  Jessica Main, University of British Columbia
 •  John Maraldo, Indiana University
 •  Ama Michihiro, University of Alaska Anchorage
 •  Yoshinaga Shin'ichi, Maizuru National College of Technology
 •  George Tanabe, University of Hawaiʻi
Moderators:
 •  Jim Heisig, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture
 •  Richard Jaffe, Duke University
Jodo Shinshu Center, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Co-sponsors: Center for Japanese Studies, Center for Buddhist Studies, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai

When Modernity Hits Hard: Redefining Buddhism in Meiji-Taisho-Early Shōwa Japan

This conference aims to present new research on the turbulent period between the Meiji Restoration and the onset of full-scale warfare in 1931 when the central government of Japan expressed open hostility toward Buddhism for the first time since its introduction in the 6th century. These papers explore various efforts made in response to powerful pressures to redefine Buddhism's place in a redefined Japanese society.

Event Contact: cjs-events@berkeley.edu, 510‑642‑3415


Thursday, May 7, 2015, 5 pm
Dignāga's Investigation of the Percept: A Tale of Five Commentaries
Jay Garfield, Yale-NUS College, Singapore
3335 Dwinelle Hall

Dignāga's Investigation of the Percept: A Tale of Five Commentaries

A team of scholars has been editing, studying and translating Dignāga's Ālambanaparīkṣā and its Indian, Tibetan and Chinese commentaries. This talk will focus on the Indian and Tibetan side of that project and on some of the intriguing developments in the understanding of this short text in its extended commentarial tradition.

Jay Garfield is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor of Humanities and Head of Studies in Philosophy at Yale-NUS College, Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, Recurrent Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Smith College, Professor of Philosophy at Melbourne University and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the Central University of Tibetan Studies.

Garfield's most recent books include Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy (Oxford 2015), Madhyamaka and Yogācāra: Allies or Rivals? (edited, with Jan Westerhoff, Oxford 2015) and The Moon Points Back: Buddhism, Logic and Analytic Philosophy (edited, with Yasuo Deguchi, Graham Priest and Koji Tanaka Oxford, 2015.