Healing Rituals in Medieval Chinese Buddhism

professor_stephen_teiser_CMSThe Inaugural Master Sheng Yen Lecture in Chinese Buddhism, hosted by the School of Languages and Cultures, University of Sydney

Professor Stephen F Teiser
DT Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and Professor of Religion at Princeton University

6.00pm to 7.30pm, Thursday 9 June 2016
Law LT 104, Level 1 Sydney Law School Annex, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney

The unrivalled corpus of medieval manuscripts unearthed in the northwestern Chinese desert town of Dunhuang in the early twentieth century divulged a trove of secrets about the practice of Chinese Buddhism. Among the thousands of liturgical texts created by local monks for the performance of rituals, almost two hundred separate manuscripts contain liturgies that were spoken aloud during healing rituals.

This lecture introduces Dunhuang and its manuscripts, surveys the practice of healing in medieval Chinese Buddhism, explores how illness can be cured through karmic means, discusses the role of confession in curing, and reflects on the process of healing in Chinese Buddhism.

Professor Stephen F Teiser is DT Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and Professor of Religion at Princeton University, where he also serves as Director of the interdepartmental Program in East Asian Studies. He is interested in the interaction between Buddhism and indigenous Chinese traditions, brought into focus through the wealth of sūtras, non-canonical texts, and artistic evidence unearthed on the Silk Road.

The Master Sheng Yen Lecture in Chinese Buddhism was established in 2015 within the School of Languages and Cultures with funding from the Dharma Drum Buddhist community in Australia for the purpose of bringing a prominent international scholar to the university each year to deliver a public lecture on any aspect of Chinese Buddhism. The lecture aims to expose students, staff and the general public to current research in this field and to profile and promote the study of Chinese Buddhism and Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney. The funding may also be used to support the activities of postgraduate research students who are researching Chinese Buddhism.

The late Chan Master Sheng Yen founded Dharma Drum Mountain in 1989 as a world centre for Buddhist education dedicated to academic research, Dharma practice and propagation, and life-value education. Master Sheng Yen received Dharma transmission in two major branches of Chan Buddhism (Linji and Caodong). He completed a Doctor of Literature at Rissho University in Tokyo and served as a professor at various universities. During his lifetime, he authored over 100 books, many of which were translated into other languages and published worldwide.

More information and registration available here.