Birnbaum: Biographical Imperatives, Autobiographical Pacts: Hongyi Dashi (1880-1942) and the construction of Buddhist lives in 20th c. China

UBC Tzu-chi Buddhist Studies Forum and UBC’s Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society proudly present a lecture by Raoul Birnbaum, the Professor and Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California at Santa Cruz:

“Biographical Imperatives, Autobiographical Pacts:

Hongyi Dashi (1880-1942) and the construction of Buddhist lives in 20th c. China”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 3:00 to 4:30 pm
UBC | C.K. Choi Building | Room 120 | 1855 West Mall

 

Abstract: The elusive monk Hongi Dashi 弘一大師, one of the pre-eminent Buddhists of twentieth-century China, was a complex man who lived in a complex time.  This talk looks to Hongyi’s very great interest in studying, editing, and composing biographies and autobiographical texts, as well as his careful visual self-representations through calligraphic works and posed photographs.  What was he doing and why?

About the author: Raoul Birnbaum is a professor of Buddhist studies and Rebele Chair in History of Art & Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz. His publications include The Healing Buddha, Studies on the Mysteries of Mañjuśrī, and many other works. Current research focuses on two projects: a biographical study of the enigmatic and extravagantly talented Chinese Buddhist monk Hongyi; and a study of the seventeenth-century monk-painter Kuncan, as part of a larger project that will include a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in late 2016.

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