In this presentation, Dr. Poceski will examine the larger issues of historical remembrance and religious (re)imagination within the Chan tradition of Chinese Buddhism, by looking at significant hagiographic portrayals of the famous monk Mazu Daoyi (709-788). The varied sources about Tang-era Chan Buddhism reveal remarkable diversity and complexity, incorporating a mélange of elements that span the elitist and the popular. They also point towards considerable fluidity and cumulative embellishment as marks of Chan’s evolving self-representations, which revolved around the animated images of its leading patriarchs. As generations of Chan/Zen teachers and writers articulated diverse visions of Chan orthodoxy, they attributed aspects of their religious outlooks and ideological agendas back to Mazu, thereby transforming his religious persona in light of ever-changing religious perspectives and institutional predicaments.
The Humanities Brown Bag Series features informal talks by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s (CHPS) Rothman Summer Fellows. Faculty fellows will speak for 20-30 minutes in length about their summer work, leaving ample time for questions and discussion. Please feel free to bring your own lunch, and the CHPS will provide coffee and dessert.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611