2021 Glorisun International Intensive Program on Buddhism, hosted by Harvard FAS CAMLab – Student Forum

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Watch Panel 3 recording here.

August 13, 2021


Time Zone Vancouver (PST) New York (EST) UK (BST) Hamburg (GMT) Beijing (CST)
Panel 1 6:00 am–7:25 am 9:00 am–10:25 am 2:00 pm–3:25 pm 3:00 pm–4:25 pm 9:00 pm–10:25 pm

 Panel 1: Textual Studies 文獻研究 (Chair: Micheal CAVAYERO 柯偉業)

1.1. (6:00-6:10) Ché GARCIA 葛思澈 (Renmin University of China 中國人民大學): A Cursory Look at Ben in T14 Renben yusheng jing 人本欲生經
1.2. (6:10-6:20) Lindsay LIN 林莉莉 (Shanghai Normal University 上海師範大學):  從寫本至刻本——漢譯《法句經》異文研究
1.3. (6:20-6:30) ZENG Lizhen 曾麗珍 (Fujian Normal University 福建師範大學): 《佛說解百生怨家陀羅尼經》咒語研究
1.4. (6:30-6:40) Guanrui GONG 龔冠睿 (University of Colorado, Boulder): Strategies of Persuasion in the Preface to Chu sanzang ji ji 出三藏記集
Comment 評議 (6:40-6:55) Discussant: Imre GALAMBOS 高奕睿
Discussion 討論 (6:55-7:25) Open Floor 開放討論


Time Zone Vancouver (PST) New York (EST) UK (BST) Hamburg (GMT) Beijing (CST)
Panel 2 7:35 am–9:20 am 10:35 am–12:20 pm 3:35 pm–5:20 pm 4:35 pm–6:20 pm 10:35 pm–12:20 am

Panel 2: Doctrine & Practice 義理與實踐 (Chair: Jinhua CHEN 陳金華)

2.1. (7:35-7:45) SHI Chuansheng 釋傳聖 (Richard Changjin Chen) (University of Hong Kong 香港大學): Seven-Fold Classifications of Buddhism (金頂七教: 因應大數據時代,在天台判教基礎上的全新再判教)
2.2. (7:45-7:55) Yipaer AIERKEN 伊帕爾·艾爾肯 (Arizona State University): Transreligious and Transethnical Aesthetics: Anige (1245–1306)
2.3. (7:55-8:05) Makarand LANKESHWAR (Capital Normal University 首都師範大學): Mumbai, the Economic Capital and Its Port during Satvahana Period
2.4. (8:05-8:15) Matteo SGORBATI 司瑪竇 (University of Perugia, Italy & Ghent University, Belgium): Wu Rujun and the Buddhist authentication of Jung’s theory of the mind: Self, Collective Unconscious and Shadow
2.5. (8:15-8:25) VEN. Cetovimutti (Cong Yuan) (Chicago): A Baby Born from a Cow and a Lotus: The Amalgamation of Buddhist and Daoist Doctrines in The Legend of King Guyin 古音王傳
Comment 評議 (8:25-8:40) Discussant: Barend TER HAAR 田海
Discussion 討論 (8:40-9:20) Open Floor 開放討論


Time Zone Vancouver (PST) New York (EST) UK (BST) Hamburg (GMT) Beijing (CST)
Panel 3 9:30 am–11:00am 12:30 am–2:00 pm 5:30 pm–7:00 pm 6:30 pm–8:00 pm 12:30 am–2:00 am

Panel 3: Religious Arts 教藝術 (Chair: Lori Meeks)

3.1. (9:30-9:40) Xiaofei (Sophie) LEI 雷小霏 (Harvard): Dharani, Meditation, and Mara’s Deeds: A Reinterpretation of Dunhuang Cave 285
3.2. (9:40-9:50) DING Kehan 丁可含 (Edinburgh): The Syntax of Ritual Formulation in the Song-Yuan Buddhist Monasteries
3.3. (9:50-10:00) WANG Kai 王開 (U. of Toronto): Shaping the Faces of Immortals: A Visual Change of Immortal Appearance in Early Taoism
3.4. (10:00-10:10) Junfu WONG 黃君榑 (Cambridge): Lay Buddhist Framework of the Afterlife: Scriptural Borrowing and Practising as Reflected by Guanzhong Stele Epigraphy during the Fifth and Sixth Centuries
Comment 評議 (10:10-10:25) Discussant: Eugene WANG 汪悅進
Discussion 討論 (10:25-11:00) Open Floor 開放討論



Panel 1: Textual Studies 文獻研究

1.1.     Ché GARCIA 葛思澈 (Renmin University of China 中國人民大學): A Cursory Look at Ben in T14 Renben yusheng jing 人本欲生經

Shi Dao’an 釋道安 (312-385) is one of the most prolific figures in early Chinese Buddhism. One of the most popular monks of his time, he was a teacher, a translator, a bibliographer, and was instrumental in establishing many of the codes for monastic discipline and conduct. It was he who instituted the practice of Chinese monks taking the surname, “Shi” 釋 in honor of “the sage of the Śakyas” (Śakyamunī; Pāli: Sakyamunī; 釋迦穆尼), which endures to this day. He is no less remembered as a great exegete, writing commentaries for at least six translations of An Shigao 安世高 (c. 2nd cent.), thereby marrying himself and his ideas to some of the most important foundational texts in early Chinese Buddhism. Early in his career, he composed a preface and commentary to An Shigao’s translation of the Renben yusheng jing 人本欲生經. In that preface, when giving his reading of the title, he defines the term, ben 本 as chi 癡. In the following paper, I will attempt to show that, while “ben as chi” may be an integral part of Shi Dao’an’s philosophy, there is no basis for such a reading in An Shigao’s original translation.


1.2.     Lindsay LIN 林莉莉 (Shanghai Normal University 上海師範大學): 從寫本至刻本:漢譯《法句經》異文研究



1.3.     ZENG Lizhen 曾麗珍 (Fujian Normal University 福建師範大學): 《佛說解百生怨家陀羅尼經》咒語研究



1.4.     Guanrui GONG 龔冠睿 (University of Colorado, Boulder): Strategies of Persuasion in the Preface to Chu Sanzang ji ji 出三藏記集

The Chu Sanzang ji ji 出三藏記集 (Collection of records on the translation of Tripitaka; hereafter CSZJJ) compiled by Sengyou 僧祐 (445–518) has provided valuable bibliographical information of early Chinese Buddhist scriptures. Recent scholarship on CSZJJ has focused on attributions of translations of scriptures and how the collection is organized. In my paper, I shift my focus from the collection proper to the preface in the beginning of CSZJJ. I read the preface as a literary piece of writing and explore the paratextual functions it performs for the collection. I argue that the preface can be read as an apology for CSZJJ—an argument for its necessity, importance, reliability, and authority. Through a close reading of the text, paying attention to both the information it conveys and how it conveys the information, I illustrate that the preface succeeds to be persuasive for CSZJJ through laying out clearly the problems CSZJJ aimed to solve, through bringing out the usefulness and necessity of CSZJJ, through emphasizing the importance of compilers in Buddhism and their lineage, and through autobiographical accounts and the various rhetorical devices employed in these accounts. I also show how Sengyou’s paratextual practices have echoes in other literary traditions than the Chinese one. I expect my project to shed new light on paratexts from early medieval China and to demonstrate the potential to read Buddhist texts as literature.


Panel 2: Doctrine & Practice 義理與實踐

2.1.     Shi Chuansheng 釋傳聖 (Richard Changjin Chen) (University of Hong Kong 香港大學): Seven-Fold Classifications of Buddhism (金頂七教: 因應大數據時代,在天台判教基礎上的全新再判教)

This thesis is intent on having a new classification of world Buddhism from ground up. In the Era of modern Big Data Database, scholars could get rich academic research resources from the Internet. Apparently, this is an opportunity to integrate all teachings of the Three Vehicles together to develop a new unification of the world Buddhism. In the course of studying Buddhism. It is noted that the Indian Madhyamika was classified as the Two Truth Theories二諦論; however, the Chinese Tiantai Buddhist scholars developed it into Three Truth Theories三諦論. There were other thoughts of Classifications 判教思想, such as the Chinese Tiantai 天台, Huayan 華嚴, Tang 唐密 and Tibetan 藏密 Traditions over one thousand years ago. Due to a lack of communications and other reasons, they are all isolated because of their own sectarian traditions and deepening levels differentiation. It is quite demanding for different Buddhist traditions to follow. Accordingly, it is necessary for the scholars of Buddhist studies to reach a consensus agreement in accord with all sectarian traditions, and to provide a vision for the Buddhists in every stage of their practice. Inclusively, this new classification is to uphold the three vehicles 三乘總持 in Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and it is the collection of the seven teachings as a whole. It comprises the Treatises on Renunciation Mind 出離心論, Buddha Nature 佛性論, Bodhi Mind 菩提心論, Vajra Mind 金剛心論, Vajra Body 金剛身論, Buddha Bodies 佛身論, and Pure Lands 佛土論.


2.2.     Yipaer AIERKEN 伊帕爾·艾爾肯 (Arizona State University): Transreligious and Transethnical Aesthetics: Anige (1245–1306)

Both Tibetan Buddhism and the art associated with it spread widely throughout Inner China after Tibet was conquered by the Sino-Mongolian Yuan dynasty. As a result of the need for political and religious ceremonies, vast amounts of Tibetan Buddhist art was created in the Yuan dynasty’s two capitals and across the Jiangnan area. In the History of the Yuan and other historical records of the Yuan era, Tibetan Buddhist artworks produced under the supervision of the court are referred to as the Nepali-Tibetan Himalayan style, a term invented by the Nepali artist Anige (1245–1306). It is important to reconstruct this style given its widespread and far-reaching influence on Tibetan Buddhist art at the Ming and Qing courts, Tibetan Buddhist art in Tibet, and its significance to the history of Tibetan Buddhist art, Sino–Tibetan artistic interaction, and even Chinese Buddhist art. I use historical records, biography and thangkas portraits to study the social background and religious milieu of the Nepali-Tibetan Himalayan style’s emergence in the Yuan period. The aim of this research is to contribute a fresh perspective regarding the evolution of art history from a Nepali-Tibetan perspective.


2.3.     Makarand LANKESHWAR (Capital Normal University 首都師範大學): Mumbai, the Economic Capital and Its Port During Satvahana Period

India is a land that has always attracted travelers, researchers, traders. And it has always been in the spotlight in world history. The abundance of India’s natural resources, agricultural products, ornaments, spices, etc., attracted Western travelers, merchants, and the kings of those countries to India. The fascination of Indian culture, civilization, tradition and philosophy was felt by the western countries. And it was from this trade that cultural unity, economic exchanges began.

The word INDIA was first used by the Greeks “Inida- across the Indus.” They set sail in small ships and reached the Indus Valley. Eventually they became aware of the winds, using the southwest monsoon winds from June to September they easily crossed the Indian Ocean directly from the port of Eden to the west coast of India. And they traveled back with the northeast monsoon winds blowing from November to February. Eudoxus/ Hippalus was the first to discover or realize this wind … This allowed merchants from the west to make a round-trip journey to India within a single year. These foreign sailors discovered many new sea routes. The information of trade of small places of these routes was only given to each other through verbal method.

India was a trading and economic hub during ancient period. Many ancient Yavan (Greek-Roman) traders, travelers, ambassadors have described Indian trade in detail in their books. in Buddhist literature also find descriptions of commercial markets, ports etc.

Divyavadan is mentioned in the book as a city with 17 major gates with ramparts. also mentions that Monk Punna came here to spread Buddhism on the orders of Buddha. If Soppara is the port of Ophir (described in the Bible), then its time can go back. In the book PES Soppara is mentioned as Ouppara.

Edict of Ashoka describes that Monk Dhammarakshit (Greek-Roman) appointed as to look after the area. This confirms that there was a large Greek-Roman colony here. Later, in the inscriptions of the Satavahana Shilahar kings, we find the description of the ancient city of Sopara. India’s golden age came in this way.


2.4.     Matteo SGORBATI 司瑪竇 (University of Perugia, Italy & Ghent University, Belgium): Wu Rujun and the Buddhist authentication of Jung’s theory of the mind: Self, Collective Unconscious and Shadow

Given the popularity of psychoanalysis in the West, since the 1960s Western Yogācāra scholars have referred to the term and concept of the unconscious when discussing ālayavijñana. “In some respects,” Tao Jiang argued, “the Western interpretation of ālayavijñana is the culmination of the search for a Buddhist notion of the unconscious” (Jiang. 2006. Contexts and Dialogue: Yogācāra Buddhism and Modern Psychology on the Subliminal Mind. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 10). I would like to present the East Asian Buddhist perspective instead, analyzing the interpretation of Jung’s (1875–1961) psychoanalytical theory by Wu Rujun 吳汝鈞 (1946–), a contemporary scholar and advocate of Yogācāra. Claiming a comparative study (bijiao yanjiu 比較研究), he recently discussed Jung’s theory (which he termed “shenceng xinlixue 深層心理學”, deep psychology) through the prism of consciousness-only (weishi 唯識) doctrine (Wu. 2014. Weishi xue yu jingshen fenxi: Yi alaiyeshi yu qianyishi weizhu. Taipei: Taiwan xuesheng, 409–428). He saw in Jung’s concept of Self a similarity with ālayavijñana, arguing that they are both related to the current body and contained those seeds (zhongzi 種子; skr. bīja) that are subject to transmigration and transformation. The Collective Unconscious is compared to Collective Karma (gongye 共業) instead, while the Shadow is understood in terms of secondary mental afflictions (suifannao 隨煩惱). He eventually stated that consciousness-only doctrine can authenticate (renzheng 認證) Jung’s point of view. I would like to analyze and discuss Wu’s philosophical discourse by focusing on the modernist aspects of his Buddhist “authentication” of these three psychological notions.


2.5.     VEN. Cetovimutti (Cong Yuan) (Chicago): A Baby Born from a Cow and a Lotus: The Amalgamation of Buddhist and Daoist Doctrines in The Legend of King Guyin 古音王傳

The Legend of King Guyin 古音王傳 (hereby noted as LKG) is an allegoric novel written by Chan patriarch Chuiwan Guangzhen 吹萬廣真 (1582-1639). This text is possibly the first known Buddhist attempt to explicitly integrate Dandao ideas into the spiritual praxis of Buddhism, which later became a spiritual fashion in the Bashu 巴蜀 area (modern Sichuan-Chongqing). In the LKG, Daoist ideas exert a non-negligible influence on the otherwise Buddhist text in two key aspects: cosmology and soteriology. Firstly, unlike previous Buddhist works on Daoism which insisted that Buddhist cosmology is the most inclusive theory of the universe, Guangzhen complemented the Buddhist universe with a Daoist narrative on the genesis and pre-genesis of the world, highlighting the “blissful” and “ignorant” features of the pre-genesis stage. Secondly, Guangzhen treated Daoist practice as an indispensable part in one of his soteriological approaches, even as he relegated Buddhist practices to the peripheral. Through a close reading of this text, a crucial link will be established between the Daoist and Buddhist works of syncretism.


Panel 3: Religious Arts 宗教藝術

3.1.     Xiaofei (Sophie) LEI 雷小霏 (Harvard): Dharani, Meditation, and Mara’s Deeds: A Reinterpretation of Dunhuang Cave 285

Constructed around the fourth and the fifth years of the Datong era of the Western Wei (535-551), cave 285 is known as the earliest dated cave in Dunhuang. Despite its symmetrical plan consisting of a square chamber under a truncated pyramidal ceiling with four cells on each side wall, the style and content of the pictorial program on each wall and on the ceiling, particularly the mirroring of the south and north walls, are highly asymmetrical. Such discrepancy between painterly representation and layout on each wall, coupled with a unique mixture of iconographies affiliated with various cultures and religions, has engendered an incredibly rich body of scholarship on the pictorial program of cave 285.

This paper attempts to provide an alternative reading of the pictorial program in cave 285 based on one of the earliest and most popular dharani scriptures at the time of 285’s construction, the Dafangdeng Tuoluoni Jing 大方等陀羅尼經 (or “The Great Vaipulya Dharani Sutra”) in light of a critical connection made by He Shizhe 賀世哲 between the eight buddhas depicted on the North Wall and the eight buddhas mentioned in the Dafangdeng. A close reading of the scripture, especially its core story, reveals striking similarities between some of its textual descriptions and the pictorial details of the five narratives on the south wall. Moreover, both the contents and, less discernibly yet equally critically, the spatial arrangement of the five narratives on the south wall can be rationalized in a similar way based on these two essential themes: elimination of sins regardless of your past, and maintenance of the precepts in the Dafangdeng.

This paper further connects the intention of displaying the efficacy of dharani with repentance and protection, as reinforced by the merit-dedicatory inscriptions on the north wall, the profusion of meditating figures throughout the cave, and the tumultuous movements of non-humans across the ceiling. As the very first attempt to examine the program of cave 285 within the context of contemporaneous practices and perceptions of dharani, this paper marks the beginning of an attempt to answer the larger question of how to visualize dharani, which is another way of asking how the act of holding a thought can be visualized.


3.2.     DING Kehan 丁可含 (Edinburgh): The Syntax of Ritual Formulation in the Song-Yuan Buddhist Monasteries

Striking wooden fish, burning incense, drinking tea with rounds of prostrations, all this patches up a typical scene in medieval Chinese Buddhist monasteries. But what are the messages that these everyday monastic actions convey? This paper will investigate the organising mechanism of various clusters of Song-Yuan Buddhist rituals on different occasions with participants of varying status. It will further reconstruct a gigantic and sophisticated monastic ritual system with permutations and combinations of basic ritual units, including venues, directions, instruments and drinks. Following Leach’s proposition that a ritual is like a message arranged under syntactical rules, I will establish a ritual model based on a vast array of ritual units’ combinations recorded in monastic regulations (qinggui 清規), to unveil these rituals’ governing principles, their illocutionary designs, as well as their functions on doctrinal and institutional levels. This study will introduce a new perspective on Chinese Buddhist rituals and will provide a historical case approach to ritual studies of East Asian that are mostly occupied with anthropological works.


3.3.     WANG Kai 王開 (U. of Toronto): Shaping the Faces of Immortals: A Visual Change of Immortal Appearance in Early Taoism

It has been widely acknowledged that Taoism, or the traditional immortal belief of China, has been deeply impacted in the 4th-5th century when Buddhism became widespread. One interesting phenomenon is that in the 5th century, Buddhist visual practices began to be utilized in Taoism. Scholars usually treat this as one of the evidences of Buddhist influence in medieval China. However, because of this phenomenon is contained in a wider context of Buddhism influence, the specific visual connections between Buddhism and Taoism are often ignored unwittingly. Especially when people talk about the visual confrontations between Taoism and Buddhism, intentionally or not, Taoist visual practices would be placed in a relatively disadvantaged status, a reluctant result of Buddhist visual influence. In this context, the original visual logic of Taoism is neglected. If we review and rethink about a few specific early Chinese art works associated with immortal belief, we may be able to recover this Taoist visual logic.

Fig. 1 and Fig 2, two statues from 120 BCE, identified as Niulang (牛郎, the cow herd) and Zhinü (織女, the weaver girl), are considered as the earliest extant large-sized immortal sculptures in China. Through these two statues, people may notice the unadorned character of Western Han’s sculptural. These two statues’ gestures are integrated into the original stone, which emphasizes the weight and stability of the statues. However, as immortal sculptures, the faces of these two statues do not show any interest to communicate with the audience. Indeed, people can identify their humanizing characters without difficulty. But it is hard to ignore the distortion of their facial physiognomy. The disproportionate relationship between the five sense organs of their faces denies the modern audience’s visual desire of having sympathetic perception with these two materialized immortals. For us, the statues are just like two self-satisfied existences, and they refuse to communicate with those who are looking at them.

If we compare the faces of these two statues to the faces of their contemporary funerary figurines (Fig. 3), or even earlier terra-cotta warriors of the Qin dynasty (221 to 206 BC), one may find that at least in the Qin dynasty, people have already noticed the importance of facial expression, and in the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE-25 CE), artisans have already developed the ability to mold high quality bodily and facial appearances. Someone may defend the rough appearances of the statues of Niulang and Zhinü because they were the very beginning of Chinese stone sculpture. However, when we focus our views on the category of early Chinese immortal images, one may discover that it is not only the problem of dealing with the new artistic media, but, more importantly, it seems that there is a relatively independent visual logic in the immortals’ expression. This visual tradition continued for a long time until the widespread of Buddhism in the 4-5th century. From then on, the immortals’ expressions developed into a very different style that resembles Buddhist visual practices. In this article, I am going to clarify the traditional visual logic of the early immortal expressions. Then, by appealing to some Taoist and Buddhist sutras, two different visual concepts of Taoism and Buddhism will be discussed. In the end, I will analyze some earliest Taoist icons to explain how the new visual concept works in Taoism. Some scholars have noticed and studied the utilization of Buddhist visual appearance in Taoism. In “Lao-tzu in Six dynasties Taoist Sculpture”, Yoshiko Kamitsuka made a survey of the development of early Taoist sculptures, and focused on the inscriptions of these sculptures to identify the function of these early Taoist sculptures in early medieval China.4 Hinako Ishimatsu’s article, “Ancient Chinese stone sculptures: stone figures of animal, human and Buddha”, concludes the development of sculpture in early medieval China by focusing on the artistic media, stone. In the article, she emphasizes the influence from Central and Northern Asia that intervened with the development Chinese stone sculpture. Li Song’s A History of Chinese Daoist Art is an important book for understanding the whole development of Taoist art history. In the second chapter of his book, Li Song specifically researched earliest Taoist art works from 5th-6th century, and his work is focused on identifying the dates and the iconographic meaning of Taoist art. Wu Hung also researched on the visual relationship between Taoism and Buddhism. In his “Buddhist Elements in Early Chinese Art (2nd and 3rd century AD),” he points out that early Buddhist images in Chinese art in fact played the role of Taoist immortals. In another article, “A Deity Without Form: The Earliest Representation of Laozi and the Concept of ‘Wei’ in Chinese Ritual Art,” Wu Hung discusses how Lao-tzu, one of the most important Taoist deities, was represented in early medieval China. These studies are important for understanding the visual encounters between Taoism and Buddhism. On the basis of these predecessors’ studies, this paper focuses on visual change to interpret the visual practices of Taoism around the 5th century.


3.4.     Junfu WONG 黃君榑 (Cambridge): Lay Buddhist Framework of the Afterlife: Scriptural Borrowing and Practising as Reflected by Guanzhong Stele Epigraphy during the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

During the late fifth and sixth centuries, lay people gathered to form a type of community that featured the establishment of stone stelae for religious purposes. Each of these stone stelae contains a sizeable corpus of epigraphical texts that give us access to the religious belief of lay people. Lay people expressed their religious expectations and imaginations of the afterlife through praying for their deceased ancestors. Note that these prayers show clear traces of conceptual references from a range of religious scriptures. Buddhist scriptures became the foundation for lay people to compose their dedicatory prayers. Nevertheless, rather than strictly observing all the details presented by the scriptures, lay people generated their ideological system through consciously selecting those parts and ideas corresponding to their envisioned realms of the afterlife. Fusing a range of unrelated scriptures created an afterlife path that contained three phases as a set that can barely be found elsewhere. Right after being released from suffering evil realms, the deceased could ascend to the celestial realm to receive cultivation. Such a process prepared them for another rebirth at lands of transcendent pleasure, thereby awaiting the final enlightenment to come. By analysing epigraphical sources, this paper aims at exploring lay religious tradition. It starts by identifying the exact types and kinds of scriptures referenced by lay people during the creation of their dedicatory prayers. It also unveils a lay afterlife framework somewhat different from the sectarian side to put forward the idea that lay people actively created their religious tradition. Furthermore, this paper unfolds the lay religious reinterpretation of the beginning of the universe, which also shows their distinctive readings of the identity of deities. Such an exploration embarks upon a larger discussion that addressed the idea that lay people acted actively throughout sectarian development.