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Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to recommend a recently published translation of poems by three Chinese monks of the Tang Dynasty. The Poetry of Hanshan (Cold Mountain), Shide, and Fenggan is published in De Gruyter’s “Library of Chinese Humanities” series. The translator is Paul Rouzer, a specialist in poetics and poetry of China and Japan, Buddhism, and traditions of the supernatural in East Asia.

This legendary trio of monk-recluse-poets has enjoyed a popular afterlife both in China and abroad. Hanshan (Cold Mountain) in particular is a beloved figure in Japan, where he is also known as Kanzan. In America,these poets are icons of counterculture. Gary Snyder, among others,translated Hanshan into English. Upon Snyder’s suggestion, Jack Kerouac dedicated The Dharma Bums to Hanshan.

The present edition brings together all the extant poems composed by these monks, providing English translations alongside the original Chinese. A pdf version can be downloaded for free from www.degruyter.com/view/product/449925.

A recent study in Contemporary Buddhism has considered the environmental impact of vegetarianism and Buddhists in China. Greenhouse gas, the major source of increased global warming, is closely linked with livestock production, which is thought to contribute between 18-29.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Meat consumption worldwide has been rising steadily and in China, the changing diet which incorporates more meat has been cause for environmental concern. The author, Ampere A. Tseng, estimates the number of Chinese Buddhists, both lay and ordained, that have various degrees of vegetarian diets and though they comprise a small percentage of the population within China, they have a large global impact. Tseng concludes that 39.68 million metric tons of CO 2 are offset by Buddhists in China – which is 9.2% of the greenhouse gas
emissions from France. He suggests that “the vegetarian practice of Chinese Buddhism should attract more Buddhists or lay people to follow, if the additional environmental and health benefits of vegetarianism could be emphasized.”

Tseng, Ampere A. “Reduction of Greenhouse-Gas Emissions by Chinese Buddhists with Vegetarian Diets: A Quantitative Assessment.” Contemporary Buddhism, 2017, 1-19.

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to the new interdisciplinary journal Buddhism, Law & Society. The journal focuses on the “social and legal manifestations” of Buddhism, in regards to scriptural analysis, historical or contemporary practice. Buddhism, Law & Society has broad interests welcoming submissions surrounding “local community practices, jurisprudence, textual analysis, commentaries, legal subject matters, philosophy, procedure, ritual, ethics, law codes, social sanctions and other areas.” For more information, see:
http://www.law.buffalo.edu/beyond/journals/buddhism.html

Applications are still open for the 2017 Fo Guang Buddhist Monastic Retreat (July 9 – Aug 5, 2017), until April 15. The Retreat is aimed at and designed for English speaking university and college students and recent graduates aged 18-35 yrs who would like to find out more about Fo Guang Buddhist monastic life. If you want to get some experience in this scholarly field, we recommend this opportunity.

For more information click here.

The Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (WII), Institute for Ethics and Religions Studies (IERS) at Tsinghua University, Buddhist Studies Center at the University of Zhejiang (ZU-BSC), and the Buddhist Studies Forum at the University of British Columbia (UBC-BSF) in Vancouver, Canada cordially invite applications for a 12-day program of lecture series, conference, and fieldwork on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (August 8-19, 2016) at Great Sage Monastery of Bamboo Grove (Dasheng Zhulin si 大聖竹林寺), Mount Wutai 五臺山, and Datong, Shanxi, China.

Applications and inquiries are to be directed to buddhistseminarandfieldwork@gmail.com. Details on the program are to be found on H-Buddhism. For more information on the conference, click here.

Dear all,

The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism, edited by Michael Jerryson, has just been published and may be of interest to our members. Michael Jerryson writes that this publication addresses the perpetual changes and diversity found in Buddhism and “…offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day…the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism’s past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.” This large scale work includes 41 essays spanning many traditions, countries and addresses topics such as globalization, Buddhist international organizations and diasporic communities. Other discussions include various kinds of Buddhist influences and interactions with technology, medicine and art as well as violence and peace-building, economics and ecology.

For more information see:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-contemporary-buddhism-9780199362387?cc=de&lang=en&

Wishing all members and friends a joyful winter celebration as 2016 slowly comes to a close.

© 2016 Venerable Delek Yangdron and Tibetan Nuns Project

© 2016 Venerable Delek Yangdron and Tibetan Nuns Project

As a final blog post for this year, we would like to highlight a historical event for women in Buddhism happening at the end of this month. On December 22, HH the Dalai Lama will be awarding Geshema degrees to 20 Tibetan nuns at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Mundgod, southern India. The Geshe degree (feminine: Geshema) had previously only been available to monks and is the highest academic degree within Tibetan Buddhism, requiring at least 21 years of intense study of texts and practice. Discussions of equal opportunity for women in Buddhism has been blossoming in previous years, throughout many traditions. After meetings between representatives from six major nunneries, the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and the Tibetan nuns project, the Department of Religion and Culture announced in 2012 that nuns would be eligible for receiving the degree. Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, of the Department of Religion and Culture is quoted as saying that, “The conferment of the Geshema degree is a historic development as it marks a new chapter in empowerment and education of Tibetan woman particularly in the spiritual sphere. The degree will openavenues of employment and opportunity to the nuns, as it makes them equally eligible as monks to assume various leadership roles in the monastic and lay communities.”

© 2016 Venerable Delek Yangdron and Tibetan Nuns Project

© 2016 Venerable Delek Yangdron and Tibetan Nuns Project

Until now there has only been one woman who has received the Geshema title in 2011 (Kelsang Wangmo, a German nun) however this graduation represents a change in the system giving more opportunity, support and education to women ongoing. The historic graduation ceremony can be viewed live online on the Tibet Nuns Project, TTV, and the CTA’s official website.