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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | The Authentic Deeds of the Buddha: Visual Narratives and Canonical Scripture in Mogao Cave 61

Neil Schmid, Guest Professor at the University of Vienna
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building Map
During the late Tang and Five Dynasties period, a renewed interest in the life of the historical Buddha unfolded at Dunhuang that in turn informed a wide range of textual, ritual, and visual materials. This talk investigates a set of mural paintings depicting Śākyamuni’s life from Mogao cave 61 as a window onto these transformations of cultic and artistic practices. Based on the Sūtra of the Collection of Authentic Deeds of the Buddha (Fo benxing ji jing佛本行集經, T. 190), Mogao 61 contains thirty-three individuated screens (pingfeng 屏風) forming the most extensive singular collection of visual representations of Śākyamuni’s biography in medieval China. Analyzed in conjunction with the canonical scripture, liturgical texts, and with other contemporaneous depictions of Buddha’s life from Mogao, these screens provide nuanced insight into the conceptualization of Śākyamuni and his foundational role in cultic life at Dunhuang.

Neil Schmid’s research centers on the medieval Chinese archaeological site of Dunhuang and the interplay of text, image, and ritual in Buddhism. He is currently Guest Professor at the University of Vienna.
Building: School of Social Work Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Art, Asia, Chinese Studies, History, Visual Arts
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, International Institute, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), Asian Languages and Cultures