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Tracing Manjusri: How an Indian Bodhisattva became a Permanent Resident of China

The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to present Dr. Paul Harrison the George Edwin Burnell Chair in Religious Studies at Stanford University as a Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Sep 05, 2017

Tracing Mañjuśrī: How an Indian Bodhisattva became a Permanent Resident of China

Around the middle of the first millennium CE Chinese Buddhists identified the Mountain of Five Peaks (Wutaishan) in Shanxi Province as the abode of Mañjuśrī, personification of liberating wisdom. Eventually Wutaishan attracted pilgrims from all over Asia, eager to encounter the great bodhisattva on the mountain, yet the evidence that Indian Buddhists also accepted that Mañjuśrī had taken up residence in faraway China is remarkably slim. New manuscript finds prompt a re- examination of this evidence, and a reconsideration of the early phases of Tantric Buddhism with which it is connected.

Paul Harrison’s published research deals primarily with Buddhist literature, in particular Mahāyāna sūtras, on the basis of Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan sources. His interests also extend to the Mahāyāna śāstra tradition and the history of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. Current projects include work on the Vajracchedikā, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabhārājasūtra, the Saṃghāṭasūtra, and the Śikṣāsamuccaya. Active as an editor, translator and interpreter of Buddhist texts, Harrison also publishes in the Eield of Buddhist manuscript studies, and is a member of the editorial board of the series Buddhist Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection.

This lecture is FREE and open to the public. 

When: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7 p.m. 
Where: Health Sciences Centre, Room 1A6, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton ON

For more info contact: Associate Professor Shayne Clarke, clarsha@mcmaster.ca 905-525-9140 ext. 23389

This Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor is sponsored through the generosity of the late Harry Lyman Hooker and the Department of Religious Studies