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2022-23 Old Dominion Public Lecture Series – The Buddhist Wheel of Rebirth: Painting & Performance, Then & Now

Stephen F. Teiser, Department of Religion

February 28, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Humanities Council

The wheel of rebirth is a familiar sight in Buddhist cultures. The wheel symbolizes the cycle of birth and death, and paintings with stock images of pleasure and pain constitute a visual curriculum in Buddhist temples. This talk interrogates old and new representations of the wheel of rebirth—some arguably post-capitalist or Protestant—to reconsider the performative dimensions of Buddhist teachings on the afterlife.

Stephen F. Teiser is the D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies and professor of religion. His research interests include the transformations of Buddhism throughout Asia, and his scholarship traces the interaction between cultures along the Silk Road using textual, artistic, and material remains. Teiser’s project as Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities Council is to develop his book, “Curing with Karma: Healing Liturgies in Chinese Buddhism,” which will engage with moral issues of healing rituals in premodern Buddhist cultures, the poetics of prayer, and the materiality of liturgical manuscripts.

Old Dominion Research Professors contribute to the Council’s programs and events and engage the campus community in sustained discussions about their research. This cohort of senior faculty join a yearlong program designed to provide additional research time and to enhance the humanities community more broadly. They also serve as faculty fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. Old Dominion Professors are full professors in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

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