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Corona and Religion

We would like to draw your attention to a series of talks in German on the topic “Corona and Religion.“ In most of them Buddhist ideas and/or groups will be a topic.

For those interested and for further information, please see the flyer below. You can also visit our Faculty website https://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/termine/pandemie-gespraeche.html.

The first talk with Michael von Brück will be hosted this Friday 30th April at 10 am MESZ.

As we will be hosting this talk over WebEx if you wish to attend then please email us using arbeitsbereich-renger@geschkult.fu-berlin.de.

Best wishes
Almut Renger

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The annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) is going to take place online this year due to the ongoing covid-19 situation. More than 400 sessions will be happening virtually, with almost 2,000 scholars presenting on their research. For more information, see the Online Program Book at https://papers.aarweb.org/online-program-book. The virtual conference begins this upcoming Sunday.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate myself, but I would like to inform you that the Buddhism in the West Unit has two sessions on Tuesday December 1.

Buddhism and Racism Across Asia, Europe and North America (co-sponsored with the Buddhism Unit)
Tuesday, December 1, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (EST UTC-5)

  • Paride Stortini, “The Buddha as an Aryan Samurai: Julius Evola’s Spiritual Racism and its Legacy on Italian Buddhism”
  • Bruce Grover, “Race, Ethnic Nationalism and Power in Modern Japanese Buddhism, 1880-1945”
  • Kim Lam, “Multiculturalism and the racialisation of Buddhism in Australia”
  • Adeana McNicholl, “Shades of Whiteness in American Buddhism”
  • Joseph Cheah, Presiding
  • Duncan Williams, Responding

Transnationalism, Secularization, and Hybridity: Adapting Buddhisms in the West (plus business meeting)
Tuesday, December 1, 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM (EST UTC-5)

  • Alexander Rocklin, “Buddhism, Race, and the Magic of Secularism in Antebellum America”
  • Peter M. Romaskiewicz, “Beware the Curse of the Buddha: Race, Gender, and Religious Xenophobia of Buddhism in Early Twentieth Century American Media”
  • Jason Ellsworth, “Buddhist Social Enterprise or ‘Corporate Buddhism’ The Commodification and Consumption of Discourses of Social Change”
  • Claudia Schippert, “Translating Korean Zen in America: Hybridization in Seung Sahn’s Kwan Um School of Zen”

I am sure this will be two splendid sessions!

Take care and be well.
Almut (Renger)

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Dear everyone,

This is to inform you on the 1-Month Monastic Program (2020) at Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University.

Founded in 1965 by the Chinese monk Venerable Hsing Yun (born 1927), Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University is an education institute devoted to teaching the Dharma to young monastics and lay practitioners. In 2020, Tsung Lin University will be launching the 1-Month Monastic Program for single unmarried young adults who are interested in Buddhist studies and practices. The program will offer classes on studies of Buddhist sutras, doctrines, and Humanistic Buddhism added with practical experience in monastery chores and services.

Language: All classes will be taught in English.

Dates: February 4, 2020 ~ March 4, 2020 (1 Month)

Fee: Tuition and accommodation are sponsored by the Fo Guang Shan Sangha Education Fund (Airfare and travel expenses not included).

For information on eligibility, application and registration dates, click here.

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We are pleased to inform you about a talk by

Prof. Mario Poceski (Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions, University of Florida)

on the topic

Transformations of the classical models of meditation praxis in Chinese Buddhism

on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, from 4:15 to 5:45 pm

in the Universität Hamburg, Asien-Afrika-Institut, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, Ostflügel (Eastern Wing), Room 120

For more information and flyer click here.

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The Research Center for Buddhist Texts and Arts (RCBTA) at Peking University, Buddhist Studies Center at Sun Yatsen University (SYSU-BSC), and the From the Ground Up project based at the University of British Columbia (www.frogbear.org) cordially invite applications for a 8-day (December 14–21, 2019) program of lecture series, conference/forum, and fieldwork on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures in Kunming, Yunnan, China.

Venue:
Kunming, China

Schedule:
December 14–21, 2019

December 14, 2019: Registration, Opening Ceremony;
December 15–18, 2019: Lecture Series & Taste of the Dharma Series;
December 19, 2019: Young Scholars’ Forum & Closing Ceremony;
December 20, 2019: Tour of famous religious sites;
December 21, 2019: Departure.

Participants are required to take part in all of the activities supported by this program, including the four-part lecture series, the Young Scholar Forum (paper presentations are optional, but attendance is required), field trips, and monastic experience session, etc. Senior undergraduate students and graduate students (MA and doctoral) specializing in any Buddhist tradition(s) or East Asian religions, and postdoctoral fellows working on relevant fields, are encouraged to apply to buddhistseminarandfieldwork@gmail.com.

Applications are to be submitted before October 31, 2019. Each application should include (1) an application form (to be provided upon request via the above email), (2) an updated curriculum vitae, (3) one writing sample, and (4) a reference letter (to be emailed by the referee directly to the above email address).

For more information, see http://www.frogbear.org.

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We are delighted to inform you about a talk at Freie Universität‘s Institute for China Studies:

Thursday (April 25), 12:15 pm, Room 2.2051 („Holzlaube“)
The Analysis of Gender and Space among Buddhist Communities in Shanghai – an Overview and the Impact of Transnational Taiwanese Religious Movements

Huang Weishan (Hong Kong, Berlin)

This presentation examines the process of revival of Mahayana Buddhist communities in contemporary Shanghai. The rival was accelerated by state-planned urbanization during the last three decades. After examining data from 120 temples together with ethnographic research from 10 case studies, the author uncovers two dynamics of social change. First, an increasing divide between Buddhist religious and educational temple spaces in the city center and in suburban areas caused by political constructions can be detected. A new drive of gentrification generates different physical and social transformations in the surrounding neighbourhoods. In this process, new relationships are created between religious clergy, land developers, and lay practitioners. Secondly, caused by the new modes of social organization and city planning, the rise of a non-monastic socially engaged Buddhist movement, the Tzu Chi Foundation, has attracted young middle-class urban inhabitants. Based on ethnographic material, the second part of the talk aims to analyze the localization of this lay women-led movement. The author argues that the successful structural adaption of the Tzu Chi movement corresponds with the promotion of a socially engaged Buddhism that aligns itself with policies and interests of the state. In addition, the timely change of organizational missions of the movement corresponds with shifts of the social identity of urban residents from “Work Units” to “Communities” in urban Shanghai.

Huang Weishan received both her MA and PhD degrees in Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her Ph.D. research focused on the studies of ethnic Chinese religious movement organizations, including the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades, the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and Falun Gong, both in New York City as well as their transnational networks. She also participated in the Gateway Project and the Ecologies of Learning Project in New York City.

Website: http://www2.crs.cuhk.edu.hk/faculty-staff/faculty-members/huang-weishan

25.04.2019 | 12:15
Neubau “Holzlaube”, Room 2.2051
Freie Universität Berlin
Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Sinologie
Fabeckstraße 23-25
D-14195 Berlin

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© Michael Neubert

We are happy to report on the success of the workshop, “The Metta-Sutra Today: Theory and Practice” that took place on January 30th, 2019. As a collaboration between the German Buddhist Union (Deutsche Buddhistische Union) and the research workshop on Buddhist Modernism at the Institute of Religious Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, a broad range of speakers were able to share their insights on this important facet of Buddhist doctrine.

Firstly, Prof. Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger (Freie Universität Berlin) introduced main concepts and definitions as a foundation for understanding the Metta-Sutra with her presentation, “Continuity and Change – Maitrī, Mettā, Loving Kindness. Perspectives on a Text and its Transformations in the Present”. Dr. habil. Martin Ramstedt (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) expanded on this basis with a discussion of the development of Maitri, specifically in the context of traditional Tibetan lineages. The diverse approach to these topics was further offered by a presentation by the Sri Lankan Theravada monk, Bhante Devananda Rambukwelle Thero, with his talk “Metta Meditation and Being Happy”. Lastly, Jürgen Manshardt explored the practice of compassion in the Mahayana tradition.

© Michael Neubert

The day-long workshop concluded with a fruitful discussion of concepts, practice and the role of Metta in contemporary Buddhism. Thank you to all who organized and participated in this enjoyable collaboration.

Cheers,
Robekkah (Ritchie)

 

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Dear all,

The next conference of the European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies (ENBCS) will take the 100th anniversary of Lynn A. de Silva—a Sri Lankan pioneer of Buddhist-Christian dialogue—as an occasion for an evaluation of the current state of Buddhist-Christian dialogue: How far has dialogue transformed Buddhist and Christian reciprocal understanding? What has been achieved? And what might be the next steps to be taken?

The conference with a list of prominent speakers is organised in cooperation with the World Council of Churches and will take place in St. Ottilien near Munich from 26 June – 1 July 2019.

For further information and registration please visit the ENBCS website: St. Ottilien 2019 | European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies

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Dear Colleagues,

This is a reminder that from tomorrow on a two-day workshop on Humanistic Buddhism will be held at FU Berlin. We look forward to welcoming you to the upcoming event, being held on the occasion of the donation of the Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts a copy of which was given by Fo Guang Shan to the Campus Library of FU Berlin.

The two-day program (for more information click here) includes lectures from Max Deeg (Cardiff University) and Axel Schneider (University of Göttingen) as well as cultural events from the Fo Guang Shan Temple Berlin (tea ceremonies and a calligraphy workshop).

Cheers,
Almut-Barbara Renger

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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.

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