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UBC Tianzhu-Hurvitz Lecture Series: Dr. John Kieschnick
Karma in Chinese Buddhist Historiography

Abstract: Over the course of 1500 years, Chinese Buddhist historiography emerged and developed under the shadow of the more prestigious tradition of court historiography. But by turning to the doctrine of karma, Buddhist historians felt that they could see the past with greater clarity than their non-Buddhist counterparts. That is, not only did Buddhist historians think that they could demonstrate the truth of karma through careful examination of the historical record; they also thought that they could better explain historical causation than those unaware of the power of karma as a historical force. In this presentation, I will explore the appeal of karma for Buddhist historians in China, as well as their use of history as a way of thinking through the doctrine.

About the Speaker: John Kieschnick, the Robert H. N. Ho Professor of Buddhist Studies at Stanford University, specializes in the cultural history of Chinese Buddhism. His representative works are The Eminent Monk: Monastic Ideals in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Hagiography (University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997) and The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture (Princeton, 2003). He is currently writing a book on the place of the past in Chinese Buddhism.

Lecture webpage: https://tianzhubuddhistnetwork.org/ubc-tianzhu-hurvitz-lecture-series-karma-in-chinese-buddhist-historiography/

The event will begin with short introductions, followed by a lecture from Dr. Kieschnick, and conclude with a Q&A session. The introductions and lecture portion will be recorded.

Oct 9, 2020 08:00 AM in Vancouver

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