[KS] Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch lecture

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Tue Nov 27 04:12:04 EST 2007

The next lecture meeting of the RASKB will be held as follows:

Tuesday  December 11th, 2007 7:30 p.m
2nd floor, Residents lounge, Somerset Palace, Seoul
(Beside Anguk-dong Rotary)
Speaker: Dr. Richard D. McBride, II

The World of Buddhist Devotional Practice in Silla Korea

 From the time that Buddhism entered the Silla kingdom (ca. 300–935) 
during the fifth century C.E., it profoundly transformed the emerging 
and evolving customs of this ancient Korean kingdom, enabling it to 
imbibe and absorb the technology and culture of India and China and yet 
also preserve many of its own aristocratic traditions.  Because Silla 
Buddhists increasingly imagined their country as a primeval preserve of 
the Buddhadharma, a Buddha-land, the flourishing of Buddhist culture and 
its myriad cultic practices was seen less as in importation of a foreign 
religion than a rediscovery and rededication to a long forgotten but 
glorious past.

In this lecture, I will describe several of the interesting dimensions 
of Buddhist devotion that developed during the Silla period—merit-making 
and divination practices, repentance rituals, dharani procedures, 
religious communities, and cults of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and gods—by 
drawing from inscriptions on Buddhist images and reliquaries, 
instructions in sūtra and commentarial literature, and descriptions in 
the Buddhist hagiography and traditional narratives preserved in the 
Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) and other later sources.

Dr. Richard D. McBride, II earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and 
Cultures at UCLA.  He has taught at the University of Iowa, Pomona 
College, and Washington University in St. Louis.  He is currently a 
Fulbright Senior Researcher studying the development of kingship in 
Silla Korea.  He is the author of Domesticating the Dharma:  Buddhist 
Cults and the Hwaŏm Synthesis in Silla Korea (University of Hawai‘i 
Press) and several articles on medieval Chinese and Korean Buddhism, the 
Samguk yusa, the Hwarang segi manuscripts.  His second book, entitled 
Aspiring to Enlightenment:  Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea, is being 
prepared for publication.

After the lecture, pasta and beer etc may be shared in a nearby 
restaurant. The lectures are open to the public, non-members of the 
RASKB are invited to make a contribution of Won 5000. Full details of 
RASKB publications, tours etc can be found on the Society's home page: 

Brother Anthony
Sogang University, Seoul

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