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Tim H. Barrett: "A Possible Buddhist Influence on Chinese Political Thought"

May 4, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center
Tim Barrett

Free and open to public


Much work has been done in recent decades on the way in which Chinese rulers made use of Buddhism to bolster their power, but in fact some Buddhist ideas concerning kingship found in South Asian materials were quite negative. China was in imperial times an autocracy in which such negativity towards kingship generally did not flourish. But if we look carefully, is there really no trace at all of these Buddhist ideas entering the Chinese tradition of political thought?  This lecture will suggest that at one point one subversive suggestion may have slipped in, and may indeed have exerted a hidden but not inconsequential influence.


Tim H. Barrett is Emeritus Professor of East Asian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He studied Chinese at Cambridge and Buddhist Studies at Yale, and spent much of his career publishing on the history of the religious traditions of East Asia, primarily with regard to China"

Shinnyo-en Visiting Professor Lecture

Event Sponsor: 
Humanities Center, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford, Department of Religious Studies
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