Workshop on Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing 梵網經 and the Baoliangju jing 寶梁聚經 (Ratnarāśisūtra)
Date: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, December 9 2017
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Room: MB116, University of Oxford
Together with SOAS (University of London), a workshop on the topic “Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing 梵網經 and the Baoliangju jing 寶梁聚經 (Ratnarāśisūtra)”, led by Professor Funayama Toru (Kyoto University) and Jonathan A. Silk (Leiden University). This workshop was partially supported by the Glorisun Fund.
Funayama Toru, born in 1961, is currently a professor of Buddhist studies at Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. His research mainly covers two different areas in the history of Buddhism. One is Chinese Buddhism from to the fifth/seventh centuries, a period from the late Six Dynasties period up to early Tang; his focuses are on the formation of Chinese Buddhist translation and apocrypha, spread of the notion of Mahāyāna precepts, the exegetical tradition on the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Mahāsūtra, and more.
The other is philological and philosophical issues in Buddhist epistemology and logic in India from the fifth/tenth centuries, particularly Kamalaśīla’s (the late eighth-century) theory of perception. In both areas, he is interested in the concept of saintliness as firmly related with the system of practice.
His most recent publications included the study and edition of the Fanwang jing: Higashi Ajia bukkyō no seikatsu kisoku Bonmō kyō: saiko no katachi to hatten no rekishi 東アジア仏教の生 活規則『梵網経』─最古の形と発展の歴史 (The Scripture of the Pure Divinities’ Netted [Banners] (Fanwang jing), Mahayana Code for Daily Life in East Asian Buddhism: The Oldest Form and Its Historical Evolution), Kyoto: Rinsen shoten, 2017, 528p.
Jonathan Silk, born in 1960, is Professor in the Study of Buddhism at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He studied East Asian Studies at the Oberlin College in Ohio and subsequently Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan. At the latter university he obtained his Ph.D. in 1994 with the thesis: The Origins and Early History of the Mahāratnakūṭa Tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, With a Study of the Ratnarāśisūtra and Related Materials.
During his studies, Silk spent several years in Japan. After his Ph.D., he became Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa and in 1995 at the Department of Comparative Religion of the Western Michigan University. From 1998 until 2002 he taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, and from 2002 in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since 2007 he has been Professor in the study of Buddhism at Leiden. In 2010 he was awarded a VICI grant from the NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation) for the project: “Buddhism and Social Justice.” In 2016 he was elected as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen [KNAW]). He is currently the principal investigator of the ERC Project “Open Philology,” focusing on the Mahāratnakūṭa collection.
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