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“The Dharma Assembly”: Exploring a dynamic infrastructure for contemporary Han Chinese participation in Tibetan Buddhist monastic contexts

May 10 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

BRINFAITH RELIGION AND EMPIRE PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES

“The Dharma Assembly”: Exploring a dynamic infrastructure for contemporary Han Chinese participation in Tibetan Buddhist monastic contexts

Speaker:
Dr. Catherine Hardie (Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University)
Date/Time:
May 10, 2022, 1:00 – 2:00 PM (HK time) 
Language: English
Venue: Via Zoom
Registration Linkhttps://bit.ly/brinfaithMay10
ABSTRACT
During the first half of the twentieth century, all but a handful of intrepid Han Chinese practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism undertook the long and difficult journey to the Tibetan plateau. In the contemporary era, however, massively improved transport infrastructures mean that Tibetan sacred landscapes, monastery spaces and ritual gatherings are now important settings for contemporary Han Chinese involvement in Tibetan Buddhism. This talk explores a participatory infrastructure that has played an outsize role in facilitating, focusing, and fostering the visits of Han Chinese Buddhists to Tibetan monastic contexts in the past three decades: namely, the “Dharma assembly.” Drawing on fieldwork findings from the 2010s, I will discuss how Dharma assemblies – large scale multi-day ritual events – have been creatively and flexibly deployed to meet and mediate the needs of Tibetan lamas, their monasteries, and Chinese followers in a period of burgeoning cross-cultural religious encounter.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Catherine Hardie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research lies at the intersection of the Tibetan and Chinese cultural worlds with a particular focus on contemporary Han Chinese involvement in Tibetan Buddhism. She completed her doctoral studies in anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2019 with the thesis titled “Tibetan Buddhist Spiritual Capital in Contemporary China.” She is currently working on her first book project as well as extending her research into Tibetan Buddhism in China with a GRF-funded project looking at the platform-based dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism on WeChat and Weibo. Her publication and translation activity to date has centred on Larung Gar, a preeminent Tibetan Buddhist institution and religious settlement in Eastern Tibet. A forthcoming book chapter titled “Innovations in Lay Buddhist Education in New Era China’s Sinophone Tibetan Buddhist Milieu” examines Larung Gar’s impactful and innovative digitally-mediated Buddhist outreach in the Han Chinese world during the culminating decade of China’s reform era (2006-2015).
ORGANIZER
The event is organized by the CRF Project “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road [BRINFAITH]” (RGC CRF HKU C7052-18G), which is hosted by the ASIAR – Asian Religious Connections Research Cluster in HKIHSS.

Details

Date:
May 10
Time:
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Via Zoom (Registration required)

Organizer

BRINFAITH