"A Path to Paradise: Images of Buddhist Heavens and Pure Lands in Early Medieval China"

This is a hybrid event, registration is required:

For in-person attendance (Hall Center Conference Hall, masks required), please register HERE
For virtual viewing, via Crowdcast, please register HERE

Before the arrival of Buddhism in China, the deeply-rooted indigenous religious culture held that a sole, supreme Heaven above was considered as the ideal paradise for the deceased. This dissertation takes a material perspective to probe into a pivotal issue: while colliding with the strong, local tradition of thanatology and cosmology, how did Buddhism achieve a balance between insisting and adapting its key doctrines, on the battleground of paradise? This project investigates how three types of artwork were designed to facilitate the post-life entry into three different paradises: a Trayastrimśa Heaven modelled after the Chinese one, the quasi Pure Land of Tusita Heaven dwelled by the Buddha-to-be Maitreya and the Western Pure Land of Sukhāvāti. Each of them was once emphatically propagated as the “ideal paradise” by contemporaneous clerics. The three materials tell a story about the Buddhist construction of “paradise” in Early Medieval China, along with the increasing capacity and receptivity of its believers.


User Activity

No recent activity

The University of Kansas Powered by the Localist Community Event Platform © All rights reserved