Buddhist Beasts: Reflections on Animals in Asian Religions and Culture

Buddhist Beasts: Reflections on Animals in Asian Religions and Culture

[image credit – Yale University Art Gallery]

The Glorisun Charitable Foundation, with support from TzuChi Canada and the SSHRC partnership project “From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions” based in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, cordially invites participation in this 3-day (April 20-22, 2018) conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

This conference explores the many ways in which animals have been understood and depicted in Buddhism. We welcome contributions from scholars who work on texts and visual representations. In many of their views on animals Buddhists were not alone, and the conference will include contributions on Hinduism and Jainism in India, Confucianism and Daoism in China and Shinto in Japan.  While our focus is largely historical, we will also examine the relevance of earlier understandings of animals for the many contemporary debates about animal rights.

Our goal is to bring approximately 25-28 scholars, both established and emerging, to the conference.

We expect that this conference will generate two conference proceedings: one in English and the other in Chinese. The English volume will collect all the papers in English, and the English translations of several papers written in non-English languages; the Chinese volume, to be published in mainland China or Taiwan, will include the Chinese versions for all non-Chinese papers in addition to those papers contributed by our colleagues based in China.