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Lecture: "Kūkai’s Sources: A Comparison between Chinese and Indian Texts and Concepts"

Jan 28, 2020 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm
Organiser: Professorships of Buddhist Studies, Intellectual History, and Global Art History

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Fujii Jun (Komazawa University, Japan/Universität Heidelberg)

Abstract

This presentation will treat two problems in the sources for the thought of Kūkai 空海 (774-835), renowned as the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Japan. The first of these problems is the origin of the negation a- in Mahāyāna sūtras; the second is how we should understand Taoism, especially under the Han Dynasty. My interest in these topics stems from my work on Kūkai. My research compares Chinese Buddhist translations with Indic texts, to discover what is distinctive about the Chinese versions. Although considerable further research is still required, I will present my current working hypotheses about these topics, at this middle phrase of my current research project, supported by the Humboldt fellowship. Please note that in this presentation will be confined to specific problems, and that I will not discuss Kūkai himself.

About the speaker

FUJII Jun is Associate Professor in Buddhist Studies at the Komazawa University in Tokyo. His research interests are Japanese Buddhism, discussions between Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism, and the Buddhist monk Kūkai. He wrote one of the most important publications on the development of Kūkai’s thinking and also explained the history of Kūkai’s concept of truth. He is a visiting fellow at the HCTS since February 2019, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation.

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