Stephen F. Teiser - D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, Princeton University
The Council is pleased to present the 48th Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture. Temple paintings and visualization practices in Chinese Buddhism offer different visions of the pure land, a paradise graced by a Buddha and devoid of the suffering of normal life. This lecture examines the way the afterlife was conceived and enacted in a different source: liturgies for funerals, memorial services, healing ceremonies, and other rites in eighth-tenth century Dunhuang (northwest China). The lecture proposes a performative analysis of several hundred manuscript prayers written by local Buddhist priests. Stephen F. Teiser is D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and Professor in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. He received his B.A. from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Teiser received the Joseph Levenson Book Prize (pre-twentieth century) for “The Scripture on the Ten Kings” and the Making of Purgatory in Medieval Chinese Buddhism (1994). His other publications include The Ghost Festival in Medieval China (1988) and a new book, Reinventing the Wheel: Paintings of Rebirth in Medieval Buddhist Temples (2007). His new research studies liturgical manuscripts from medieval China. Recently Teiser introduced a new course at Princeton University on great books in Buddhism. With support from the Luce Foundation, he taught a site seminar in Tibet that combined methods from art history and Buddhist studies for Ph.D. students during the summer of 2007.