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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | Violence in East Asian Buddhism

The University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk by Jinhua Chen, Professor of East Asian Buddhism, The University of British Columbia.

November 29, 2016 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Speaker: Jinhua Chen, Professor of East Asian Buddhism, The University of British Columbia
The principle of nonviolence occupies a central place in Buddhist tradition. It is perhaps for this reason that individuals both within and outside the academy regularly contrast it with purportedly more “violent” world religions, asserting that Buddhism has had no institutional involvement in conflicts akin to the crusades or jihad. Against this highly romanticized vision of the tradition, Buddhist monastics have turned out to have interacted with lay people in almost every conceivable way — including violence. This talk aims to throw light on East Asian Buddhism’s involvement in warfare and other forms of violence.
Jinhua Chen was trained as a historian of religions, with a focus on East Asian Buddhism. After receiving a doctoral degree in Religious Studies from McMaster University in 1997, he held a postdoctoral research fellowship at Kyoto University in Japan. In 2001, he joined the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. That same year he was also appointed by the federal government of Canada as the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in East Asian Buddhism (2001-2011). He has been engaged in research projects related to East Asian state-church relationships, monastic (hagio/)biographical literature, Buddhist sacred sites, relic veneration, Buddhism and technological innovation in medieval China, Buddhist translations, and manuscript culture. 
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