Living with Animals in Medieval Chinese Religions

Speaker: Huaiyu Chen
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2023-4-10 | 9:45-11:00 (Shanghai)
2023-4-9 | 21:45-23:00 (New York)
2023-4-10 | 5:45-7:00 (Abu Dhabi)

This talk aims to illustrate how Buddhism shaped Chinese knowledge and experience of animals after it gradually took root in Chinese society in the medieval periods, and vice versa, how Chinese state ideology, Daoism, and local cultic practices reshaped Buddhism in understanding and engaging with animals. I take multiple approaches from history, religious studies, animal studies, and environmental studies in this talk to explore the entangled power relations among animals, religions, the state, and the local community in medieval China.

Huaiyu Chen is an associate professor of religious studies at the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies of Arizona State University. Prof. Chenā€™s research interests cover a wide range of topics, including Buddhism and Nestorian Christianity, Religions on the Silk Road, Dunhuang Manuscripts, Animals in Chinese religions, Buddhist rituals and monasticism, and modern Chinese intellectual history. His most recent publications include In the Land of Tigers and Snakes: Living with Animals in Medieval Chinese Religions (Columbia University Press, 2023) and Animals and Plants in Chinese Religions and Science (Anthem Press, 2023).

Introduction by Minhao Zhai, Assistant Professor Faculty Fellow of Global China Studies at NYU Shanghai.

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