CEAS | Thinking Through Buddhist Visualities

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Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140
@ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

How does one visually portray a sublime truth or numinous reality that, by definition, is said to transcend the senses? How can one give form to the formless without subverting its character? This problem was familiar to those in both Asian and Western religious traditions, and artists devised a variety of strategies to overcome it. In this guest lecture, Prof. Robert Sharf (UC-Berkeley) will focus on the East Asian Buddhist tradition, whose struggles with the conundrum gave rise to a visual culture intended to challenge the very distinction between reality and representation.
The talk will take place in Elvehjem Room L140.
Speaker Bio:
Robert Sharf works primarily in the area of medieval Chinese Buddhism (especially Chan), but he also dabbles in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion.