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From Jetavana to Jerusalem: Sacred Biography in Asian Perspectives and Beyond
November 7–9, 2021, in collaboration with Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yale University

Sacred biographies constitute a highly valuable source for the study of religious life. Having long been underappreciated by scholars in the field until the publication of Speaking of Monks (1992) by P. Granoff and K. Shinohara, today a substantial and growing body of literature explores the ways that accounts of the lives of religious achievers help us to understand practice and belief. The plethora of recent publications on hagio-biography indicates a lively conversation is underway about the methods and theories that allow for cross-cultural study of these important materials. Exploring sacred biographies produced and circulated within and well beyond Asia, the “From Jetavana to Jerusalem” Conference aims to build on this path-breaking scholarship to further explore how transcultural and cross border approaches to the study of hagio-biography, in particular, strengthen our understandings of monastic figures, as well as the communities who celebrate their legacies.

Scholars will pursue questions including, but not limited to: What do the telling and retelling of saintly lives achieve for individuals and communities? What forms do hagio-biographies take? Which factors inform their composition? How do records of religious achievers illuminate the study of ritual, music, art, and material culture?

The international conference “From Jetavana to Jerusalem: Sacred Biography in Asian Perspectives and Beyond” is held in honour of Professor Phyllis Granoff, who recently retired from Yale University. It will follow a symposia format. Panelists will first address comments from session discussants, then exchange feedback with fellow panelists, and if time allows, respond to questions from public attendees. Both English and Chinese are working languages for the conference.

Webpage: https://bit.ly/2Yn4wjP
Schedule: https://bit.ly/3wibunv
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