On the Interior Life of Master Hongyi 弘一大師 (1880-1942), a Modern Chinese Buddhist Artist-Monk: Three or Four Strands

Colloquium | February 6 | 5-6:30 p.m. | 3335 Dwinelle Hall

 Raoul Birnbaum, University of California Santa Cruz

 Center for Buddhist Studies, Tianzhu Global Network for the Study of Buddhist Cultures

What can be said about the interior life of an eminent and multi-talented twentieth-century Chinese Buddhist monk? Can we speak of things below the obvious surface, beyond a sequence of events? How can the life of a complex individual be approached? This talk looks to some core elements of Hongyi’s interior life, set in time, based on consideration of a broad array of primary sources: diaries, essays, dream records, correspondence and other manuscript remains, as well as photographic records and Hongyi’s paintings, calligraphy, poetry, and song compositions.

Biographical notes:
Through a career focused on studies of Chinese Buddhist worlds of imagination and practice, Raoul Birnbaum (Professor Emeritus of Buddhist Studies, UCSC) has concentrated on three main topics: the great deity cults of the Chinese Buddhist world; constructions of Chinese geography interwoven with Buddhist conceptions and practices; and the lives of key figures within Chinese Buddhist worlds of the twentieth century, together with their seventeenth-century predecessors and models. He is preparing a book-length study of Master Hongyi and his worlds of practice.

 CA, buddhiststudies@berkeley.edu, 5106435104