Dear colleagues and friends,
I'm sharing the following news on behalf of Professor Shihshan Huang:
We are pleased to announce the Rice University inaugural lecture in the new
Tai Series on Cross-Cultural Studies, free and open to the public:
Robert Sharf, “Chan Buddhism Explained”
Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 4:00pm CST (US and Canada)
Online only via Zoom
Please register using the following link:
Abstract: Considerable progress has been made in the past few decades in
our understanding of the institutional and literary history of early (Tang
and Song period) Chan. But when it comes to the properly
of Chan, as found in the “recorded sayings” texts (yulu) and “public
case” compilations (gong’an), advances have been more modest. The
writings of the Chan patriarchs are still regarded more as inscrutable
utterances pointing to a non-discursive experience—perhaps something akin
to a poetry of the sublime—rather than philosophy proper. My talk will
argue otherwise, and demonstrate that Chan authors were advancing eminently
scrutable and conceptually sophisticated positions on pressing issues and
controversies that had preoccupied Buddhist exegetes for centuries. Indeed,
many of the issues remain philosophically salient today.
Speaker Bio: Robert Sharf is D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of
Buddhist Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at
the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Chair of Berkeley’s
Center for Buddhist Studies. In addition to numerous articles and chapters,
he is the author of Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of
the Treasure Store Treatise (2002); What Can’t Be Said: Contradiction and
Paradox in East Asian Thought(coauthored with Yasuo Deguchi, Jay Garfield,
and Graham Priest, 2021), and co-editor (with his wife Elizabeth) of Living
Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context (2001).
The Tai Lecture Series in Cross-Cultural Studies is supported by the Tai
Fund for Cross-Cultural Studies.
If you have any questions, please contact the lecture organizers, Eric
Huntington and Susan Huang, cc'ed here. Thank you.