The UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO / McMASTER UNIVERSITY YEHAN NUMATA PROGRAMME IN BUDDHIST STUDIES presents:
Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University)
The Incredible Vanishing Religion: Glimmers of Buddhist Imagination from Medieval China
THURSDAY, January 31, 2013, 2-4 pm, University of Toronto Mississauga, Instructional Building, IB 220
The Buddhism familiar to many Americans and Europeans today has aptly been termed “a modern hybrid tradition with roots in the European Enlightenment no less than the Buddha’s enlightenment” (D. McMahan, “The Making of Buddhist Modernism”). In this talk I will discuss miracle tales emanating from a much earlier and very different sort of Buddhism as it was lived and practiced in early medieval China. The tales I will present feature visitations by ghosts to living persons. Medieval Chinese readers and hearers took these stories to be documentation of the workings of the normally unseen spirit-world. Through the tales we can glimpse an imaginal world that, although central to many people in China around 490 C.E., is now often ignored. The talk will focus on the roles and functions of ghosts in these narratives.
Religious Repertoires and Contestation: A Case Study Based on Buddhist Miracle Tales
FRIDAY, February 1, 2013, 4-6 pm, McMaster University, University Hall 122
Robert Campany is Professor Asian Studies and Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University and the author of four books, most recently “Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China”.
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