Dear all concerned,

This is to announce the workshop “Tibetan Monastery Collections and Museums: Traditional Practices and Contemporary Issues“, to be held at SOAS University of London, 8th-10th November 2018.

Please, find information on the event below.


Tibetan Monastery Collections and Museums: Traditional Practices and Contemporary Issues International Workshop, 8–10 November 2018, SOAS University of London

Tibetan monasteries are known as repositories of a wide range of ancient objects. Originally a considerable part of these collections was an integral part of the furnishing of the monastery and its temples, and thus accessi – ble to the visitor. Today, many monasteries have added museum spaces to their premises. While the original impetus for such spaces appears to be rooted in an attempt to accommodate the needs of tourists, the aims and contents of these vary greatly. These spaces are an expression of a modern transformation, the impact of which on the collections is the main focus of this workshop. The workshop is part of an AHRC-funded research project–‘Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Collections Today’—which directly collaborates with monasteries in Ladakh and Mustang to document, assess and support the management of their collections. Representatives of these institutions will participate in the workshop. Admission free but registration required: https://www.soas.ac.uk/art/events/

For more information, click here.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications in the 2018-19 competition year of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. In cooperation with the Foundation, ACLS offers an integrated set of fellowship and grant competitions supporting work that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies.

Deadline for submission of fellowship applications: November 14, 2018.
Deadline for institutional applications for New Professorships: January 9, 2019.

Applications must be submitted in English. Program information and applications are available at https://www.acls.org/programs/buddhist-studies/.

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany offers two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism.

Deadline for applications:
31 October 2018

Start of scholarship:
Spring, summer or autumn 2019

Duration of scholarship:
4 years

Scholarship amount:
EUR 1200 per month + insurance + support for rent + EUR 460 per year + lump sums for travel

Scholarship donor:
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität in Munich is based on a cooperation between Asian Studies (Indology, Japanology, Sinology, Tibetology) and Religious Studies and promotes and supervises PhD theses related to Buddhism within a broad range of subjects and disciplines.

For details concerning the application, please visit the university’s homepage:

Dear All,

We would like to introduce to you a recent contribution to the field of the studies on the globalization of religions, The Hybridity of Buddhism: Contemporary Encounters between Tibetan and Chinese Traditions in Taiwan and the Mainland, edited by Fabienne Jagou (Paris: EFEO, 2018). The articles published in this volume are the result of a three-year project entitled “Practices of Tibetan Buddhism in Taiwan” (2012–2015), funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchanges. The collection adopts the concept of hybridity as the principal model of investigation of the continuities and ruptures in the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, both on a global level and in interaction with the local religious traditions of Taiwanese and Chinese societies.

To read more, click here.

We are delighted to recommend to you a recently published collection of essays, Setting Out on the Great Way: Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism, edited by Paul Harrison (Stanford University). The collection brings together different perspectives on the origins and early history of Mahāyāna Buddhism and delves into selected aspects of its formative period.

For more information, see https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/early-mahayana/

To further elaborate on the blog post of April 30th, 2018, we would like to share some details of the workshop “Cultural Transformations of Buddhism Today” that occurred on April 6th, 2018 in Beijing. This is the second collaborative workshop between Freie Universität Berlin and Peking University, as the first took place in Berlin in late 2015.

The workshop opened with Prof. Renger presenting a keynote lecture highlighting certain aspects of the commodification of Buddhism in Western culture with a focus on popular culture and film. Media and technology were the main topics of the first session as speakers discussed aspects of cultural interpretation, Buddhist imagery and concepts of faith within Buddhist-themed films as well as the international developments around audio devices called the “FM3 Buddha Machine”. After a lunch break, the second session focused on transformations of specific Buddhist organizations and temples—namely, Jizhao Temple and Fo Guang Shan. The last block of talks encompassed a range of topics including tattoos in Theravada Buddhism, Max Weber’s understanding of Buddhist asceticism and mysticism, and a discussion on the idea of “heart culture”. Lastly, our host, Prof Li Silong gave a closing lecture on the transformations of contemporary Chinese Buddhist monastic libraries. The day ended with discussions and considerations surrounding specific topics from the talks as well as overarching themes of the workshop. After this second fruitful exchange between the Freie Universität Berlin and Peking University, we not only express our gratitude to all those involved, but also look forward to further productive and successful collaborations.

May 17, 2018
12:15 pm
Neubau “Holzlaube”, Room 2.2051

Speaker: Bai Lanling (Beijing, Berlin)
Talk: The Relationship between Su Shi’s Poetry and Buddhism: Focusing on the Poems of Mt. Lu

Su Shi (1037-1101) is the representative of “Song Tune“ in the history of ancient Chinese poetry. His Poems of Mt. Lu (1084)have always attracted attention and cause continuous controversy. However, scholars often ignore their internal connections. Through text analysis, we can see that this group of poems written in Lushan has a rich Buddhist color. The Buddhist viewpoints, images, discourse patterns and the traditional model of Chinese poetry writing form a wonderful fusion. On the other hand, the contents and expressions of these poems are quite different. From this, we find that the influence of Buddhism on Su Shi is very complicated. Through the case study, we will also get a new understanding of “Song Tune“.

Bai Lanling is Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Literature and Law, Communication University of China. Her work specifically focuses on ancient Chinese literature (Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties) and ancient Chinese literary criticism (novel commentary). She has published monographs such as The Literary Mind of the talented scholar: The Source of Jin Shengtan’s s Novel Theory and academic papers such as The Relationship between Zhiyanzhai’s Novel Commentary and Chinese Painting Theory, The New Changes of Zhiyanzhai’s Novel Commentary. She is currently a senior visiting scholar at Freie Universität Berlin.