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"Life Cycles: Calendars, Festivals, and Death at Dunhuang." BuddhistRoad Guest Lecture by Neil Schmid (Postponed from 23.11.2022)
This lecture begins with a review of Chinese scholarship on Dunhuang manuscripts that offers key insights into the vibrant exchange of medical and scientific knowledge across Eurasia, often embedded in religious discourse. These exchanges influenced multiple domains of life at Dunhuang, including the astral sciences and calendrics. Over the last twenty years work in China has begun showing an increasing interest in these areas and, as well as in the relationships between related texts and visual materials in Dunhuang caves. One of the strengths of recent scholarship has been research on the festival and seasonal year, which fundamentally configured lay and religious life at Dunhuang. In keeping with the topic of the quotidian, this lecture will also examine recent scholarship on fundamental issues concerning the death and the life cycle, including karmic, together with the role of these play in the construction of Dunhuang caves.
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