Monday October 20, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM PDT
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UBC Robson Square | Room C100 
800 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7

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Jessica L. Main 
RHNHFF Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society 

Upcoming Talk: Prof. Shi Zhiru on Bells, Hells, and Dizang in Chinese Buddhism 

We are pleased to welcome Professor Shi Zhiru, Pomona College, as a Tung Lin Kok Yuen Distinguished Speaker, supported by The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at UBC. Her lecture will be,

For Whom The Bell Tolls: Bells, Hells, and Venerating Dizang in China

Lectures are free and open to the public. 5 minutes prior to start, any extra seating will be made available.

 The Great Bell Temple of Beijing is a now a historical museum of Chinese bells, housing a vast collection of bells including a number of Buddhist bells. What significance do bells have in Chinese Buddhist history? Examining textual and art historical sources, Shi Zhiru will elucidate how pre-modern Chinese Buddhists linked Dizang Bodhisattva, the afterlife deity in Chinese religion, to bell practices, producing a new pattern of image veneration.  Shortly after the tenth century, this association helped to shape iconography and even monastic architecture. The study thus reiterates how religious change seamlessly encompasses different aspects of religious life and culture, unfolding across text and doctrine, as well as ritual artifact, art, and architecture.

This year's focus on Chinese Buddhism connects with the theme of "The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors" exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, sponsored by The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation. From October 18, 2014 to January 11, 2015, the VAG will exhibit nearly 200 treasured objects from the collections of Beijing's Palace Museum.

Born in Singapore, Shi Zhiru is an ordained Chinese Buddhist nun in the lineage of the great scholar-monk Master Yinshun. Shi Zhiru received her M.A. degree from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Arizona. She is currently professor of Religous Studies at Pomona College in Southern California. She is the author of The Making of a Savior Bodhisattva: Dizang in Medieval China, Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism no. 21 (2007), and has also published on modern Chinese Buddhism and Taiwanese Buddhism. She is currently working on two research directions: Buddhist women and architecture in contemporary Taiwan, and Buddhism in tenth-century Hangzhou. A scholar-practitioner, she was named one of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism in Bangkok 2010.