Dear friend of the OCBS
Next Monday Mr Greg Seton will present our last lecture of the Hilary term Monday evening series. This week as well as an abstract from Mr Seton's talk we also have details of an additional lecture and a student hosted talk.
Monday 05 March
Mr Greg Seton: "Are Yogācāra and Madhyamaka Allies or Rivals?"
The Madhyamaka and Yogācāra schools are often touted as the two distinct Indian Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophical systems that were opposed to one another throughout the first millenium C.E.. However, Indian commentators historically disagreed about the question of whether the Yogācāra and Mādhyamika schools should be considered allies or rivals. Unfortunately, among the Indian commentators who directly or indirectly answered this question, most ignored the difference of pedagogical approach between the two philosophical systems and hence, simply argued for the superiority of their own system. However, Ratnākaraśānti (ca. 960-1045) stood apart in this regard. In his Manual for Transcendent Wisdom (prajñāpāramitopadeśa), he presented a side by side comparison of the pedagogical context for each schools' application of its theories along side of a coherent and persuasive argument that the two schools should indeed be considered close allies. For this reason, Ratnākaraśānti's answer to this central question not only offers novices an eminently accessible introduction to Mahāyāna philosophy and an overview of a thousand years worth of its interpretation, but also provides experts a nuanced discussion of the differences and similarities between the two schools.
The lecture takes place on Monday 05 March at 5.30pm in Balliol College lecture room 23.
Next week we also have an exciting addition to our lecture schedule:
Thursday 08 March
Dr. Rapgay: "Emerging independent scientific support from modern cognitive sciences for the original version of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness"
In this talk Dr. Rapgay will be exploring conceptual understandings of the four foundations of mindfulness and discussing the various interpretations of how to practice from a Buddhist perspective and how independent scientific studies appear to support one particular version. Find out more on our website.
This lecture takes place on Thursday 8th March at 4pm in the OCBS Offices
Friday 02 March
Augusta Thomson, an undergraduate at St. Hugh's College will be hosting a fundraising talk and film screening by Sun Shuyun:
Sun Shuyun: "What is Tibetan culture today, and how is it lived by contemporary Tibetans? What are the threats to Tibetan culture?"
From June 2006 until July 2007, the filmmaker, writer, and director, Sun Shuyun, spent a year in Gyantse, Tibet’s 3rd largest town. Sun Shuyun’s book and film presents the conflict between modernity and tradition in the town of Gyantse. She examines the parallel tensions between the Chinese and Tibetan inhabitants of Gyantse and the ongoing struggle of the people to retain traditional cultural values amidst rapid modernization. In this way, Sun Shuyun’s documentary and written text provide insight into the situation within Tibet, largely unexplored and uncovered in Western and Chinese media headlines and articles. Augusta Thomson is an undergraduate studying Archaeology and Anthropology at St. Hugh's College. Funds from the event will help support Augusta's expedition to Mount Kailash in Tibet this summer. This lecture takes place on Friday 02 March at 7.30pm, New College lecture room 4.
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