Trinity term 2018 Lecture Series

There will be two lectures this term, given in the Oriental Institute, Lecture Room 1.  All are welcome


April 23 – 5.15pm

Prof. Richard Gombrich (OCBS)

The Origin of Pali


April 30 – 5.15pm

Professor Paul Bernier (Université de Moncton)

Causation and Free Will in Early Buddhist Philosophy

The problem of free will and determinism has a long history in Western philosophy; it is also an important issue in contemporary metaphysics. While this problem has not been the focus of discussions in the commentarial tradition of Buddhist philosophy, it has recently attracted the attention of many Buddhist scholars, who have defended conflicting interpretations.

As we know, causation is a central notion of Buddhist philosophy, particularly in the context of the doctrine of Dependent arising (paṭiccasamuppāda). It is very tempting to interpret this notion as entailing universal causal determinism, as many scholars have done. This interpretation, however, raises a serious problem with respect to a passage of the Aṅguttara Nikāya (A. I. 173-175), where the Buddha rejects as “wrong views” three so-called “sectarian views”. I argue that a good reason to reject these “sectarian views” is also a reason to reject universal causal determinism. This suggests that causation in Early Buddhism does not entail universal causal determinism and that it leaves room for indeterminist causation and a form of free will.


Lingyin Lectures in Buddhist Studies – Trinity Term 2018

May 14th, June 4th, and June 11th 2018, h. 5.15pm

The Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE

Lecture Room no. 1

 Monday, May 14th 2018:

 “The Three Nature (trisvabhāva) Theory in the Yogācāra Texts of the Five Maitreya Works”.

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Mathes (Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde, Universität Wien).


Monday, June 4th 2018:

 “Legality, ideologies and identitarian dynamics in the contemporary re-establishment of the Theravāda bhikkhunī-saṅgha”.

Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā (Āgama Research Group, Department of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts).


Monday, June 11th 2018:

 “What can we learn from Musīla and Nārada?”

Prof. Johannes Bronkhorst (Université de Lausanne).

All are welcome to attend.

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