Divination Workshop 2019

Buddhist Divination Workshop, June 26, 2019, 5:15–6:45 pm

5:15 Michelle C. Wang (Georgetown University), Introductions and welcome
5:25 Brandon Dotson (Georgetown University), “Material Culture and Dice Divination”
5:40 Constance A. Cook (Lehigh University), “Mantic Figures and Spirits in Chinese Divination”
5:55 Zhao Lu (New York University Shanghai), “The Many Faces of Maheśvara”
6:10 Megan Bryson (University of Tennessee), Discussant and Moderator
6:20 Open Discussion

Chinese Divination Traditions in Conversation: Maheśvara’s Divination Explanations (Moxishouluo bu) in Chinese and Transcultural Contexts

Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Collaborative Reading Workshop

June 26-28, 2019, hosted by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

This workshop brings together Sinologists, Tibetologists, Buddhologists, and art historians to translate and properly contextualize “Maheśvara’s Divination Explanations” (Moxishouluo bu), a Chinese Buddhist divination text from Dunhuang that dates to the ninth or tenth century CE. The text, which prescribes the use of dice to arrive at one of sixty-four oracular responses, occupies a fascinating place between Chinese traditions of numerical trigram divination on the one hand, and Indian and Tibetan dice divination traditions on the other. Performing a close reading of its fascinating contents, the workshop situates the Moxishouluo bu both with respect to continuities with long-standing Chinese divinatory traditions, and in the context the Chinese assimilation of transregional divination traditions.

Workshop Participants:

Megan Bryson, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee

Constance A. Cook, Professor and NEH Distinguished Chair, Modern Languages and Literatures, Lehigh University

Yi Ding, PhD Candidate, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University

Brandon Dotson, Associate Professor and McKenna Chair of Buddhist Studies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Georgetown University

Imre Galambos, Reader in Chinese, University of Cambridge

Ai Nishida, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Linguistics, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies

Stephen Teiser, D. T. Suzuki Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of Religion, Princeton University

Michelle C. Wang, Associate Professor of Art History, Georgetown University

Zhao Lu, Assistant Professor of Global China Studies, New York University Shanghai


Workshop Sponsors:

Henry Luce Foundation / ACLS Program in China Studies

Global Engagement Program, Georgetown University

Georgetown Buddhist and Silk Road Studies Initiative

Humanities Initiative, Georgetown College