LECTURE> SOAS CBS The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Lecture Series in Chinese Buddhism - Gareth Fisher (19-20 March 2021)

Stefania Travagnin's picture

Dear All, 

 
The SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies is delighted to invite you to the next event in The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Lecture Series in Chinese Buddhism. 
 
Our speaker will be Professor Gareth Fisher from Syracuse University. His public lecture, titled "Morality, Meditation, and Magic: The Changing Face of Lay Buddhism in China Today", will be held on Friday, 19 March 2021, at 18:00 (London time). Given the current circumstances and restrictions on travel, the lecture will take place online as a Zoom webinar. 
 
The following day Professor Fisher will hold a seminar aimed at academics and postgraduate students, titled "Process, Place, and Theory: Some Challenges of Multi-Sited Fieldwork on Buddhism in China Today.”  The seminar will start on Saturday at 13:00.
 
Please find more information about the event below.
 
 
 
 
Morality, Meditation, and Magic: The Changing Face of Lay Buddhism in China Today
 
19 March 2021
6:00 PM (UK Time)
Zoom webinar
 
 
Abstract
This presentation will draw from two decades of ethnographic fieldwork to explore different faces of lay Buddhist practice in China today. It will explore this diversity by analyzing the experiences of three lay practitioners: Wang Xuan, a middle-aged resident of Beijing, who shifted between three Buddhist teachers in search of moral guidance on ideal family relations; Huang Xitao, a native of Hebei province, who converted to a Taiwanese Buddhist meditation movement while studying overseas in the United States; and Li Chaoyang, an entrepreneur in Shandong province who became interested in Tibetan Buddhism as an efficacious system for material success in life, and who sponsored a temple-building project on land that he managed. After discussing the journeys of each practitioner in detail, the presentation will conclude by drawing on these stories to consider how lay Buddhism in China has changed, both since pre-modern times and over more recent decades.
 
 
 
Seminar:  Process, Place, and Theory: Some Challenges of Multi-Sited Fieldwork on Buddhism in China Today
 
20 March 2021
1:00 PM (UK Time)
Zoom meeting

 
This seminar will explore the challenges of transitioning from a traditional anthropological place-based study of a single temple site in Beijing and its lay Buddhist converts to a multi-sited exploration of the process of new Buddhist temple building throughout China. Multi-sited fieldwork presents challenges in terms of (1) following a process that is dynamically unfolding in different times and places, (2) gaining access to conduct fieldwork at a number of different religious sites, and (3) arriving at a theoretical framework that connects together a fragmented collection of disparate findings that have mostly been arrived at by following unrelated leads. Through an analysis of these experiences, we will explore together the merits of both single-sited and multi-sited fieldwork with respect to Chinese Buddhism and the study of religion more broadly.