NSW: Buddhist Studies May Seminar

The Australasian Association for Buddhist Studies notifies that its next seminar will take place on the evening Thursday 9 May in the Rogers Room (N397), John Wooley Building (A20), University of Sydney. The topic will be Women’s Joy and Praise in the Lalitavistara.


Women’s Joy and Praise in the Lalitavistara

Rarely does a biography of the Buddha create such a colorful gallery of female images as in the Lalitavistara. I will focus on Māyādevī, the mother of the Bodhisattva, Gopā, the wife of the Bodhisattva, and the goddesses such as the daughters of Māra to examine how their representation in the Lalitavistara relates with the stories about them scattered across other canonical and non-canonical texts in Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, Sinhala, and Newari. I will explore the ways in which Buddhist biographical traditions construct gender difference in relation to the emotions conveyed on the Bodhisattva’s path to Enlightenment and how women’s emotion and experience, especially their joy and their praises, in the Lalitavistara resonate with the overall religious experiences and emotions of the text.

Xi He Xi He is a lecturer of Buddhist literature and East Asian Culture at Appalachian State University (USA). She is researching her second book project, which is tentatively titled “When Passion Meets Compassion: Mātaṅgī and Her transformations”. In 2016, She completed a two-year ACLS Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow residence in the Group in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2012. Her research focuses on Buddhist Sanskrit literature, translation and transmission of Buddhist Sanskrit texts in Chinese, and women and gender studies


6:00-7:30pm on Thursday 9 May in the Rogers Room (N397), John Wooley Building (A20), University of Sydney.


Gold leaf covered schist reliquary in the form of a stupa. Kusana period, North Western India. National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan. Copyright: Huntington, John C. and Susan L.Huntington Archive