*Change of Date* "Sacrificial Sūtras: Mahāyāna Literature and the South Asian Ritual Cosmos," an Asian Studies Faculty Research Seminar: Natalie Gummer
From site: News & Events
Date: Friday, March 15th, 2013
Time: 4:00 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Room 150, Center for the Sciences
Sponsored by: Department of Education and Youth Studies
Contact: Jingjing Lou, Jingjing Lou: 608-363-2078
Sacrificial Sūtras: Mahāyāna Literature and the South Asian Ritual Cosmos
Early Buddhist thought and practice were shaped in several important respects by the rejection of the sacrificial rituals that were so central to Brahmanical tradition. For instance, as scholars have recognized, the bodhisattva path inverts the logic of substitution that informs animal sacrifice: the bodhisattva perfects himself not through sacrificing another in his place, but by sacrificing himself for the sake of others. This paper argues that some Mahāyāna sūtras (specifically, the Suvarṇa(pra)bhāsottama, the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, and theVimalakīrtinirdeśa) invert this inversion by portraying themselves as aesthetic, dramatic forms of sacrifice, rituals of recitation that obviate the violence not only of animal sacrifice, but also of the bodhisattva’s self-sacrifice. These sūtras substitute themselves for both the fire and the food of sacrificial ritual, offering audiences a performative technology for transformation and a bloodless path to buddhahood. (And I will do my best to explain all this in terms that the uninitiated can understand.
Beloit College has a remarkable range of knowledge in Asian Studies. The Asian Studies Faculty Research Seminars are designed to showcase faculty work. The seminars are meant to connect faculty research with a wider audience and wider world of ideas, and serve to showcase the breadth and depth of the Beloit College Asian Studies faculty.
This event is free and open to the campus and community.