Heaven and Hell on the Silk Road

June 26, 2016


Drawing on the scrolls, paintings, and texts from Dunhuang, John Kieschnick, The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor of Buddhist Studies at Stanford University, will discuss the introduction of the concepts of karma and rebirth into China and how these scrolls and paintings can be viewed as records of donations made in memory of a deceased family member.

Using these same materials, he will also examine contemporaneous perceptions of life after death and the options one might consider as a means for improving one's lot in the next cycle of life.

About the Presenter

John Kieschnick is The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor of Buddhist Studies and co-director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford. He specializes in Chinese Buddhism, with particular emphasis on its cultural history. Professor Kieschnick is the author of the Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval China and the Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture. He is currently working on a book on Buddhist interpretations of the past in China and a primer for reading Buddhist texts in Chinese.

This lecture series was made possible by the generous support of Mr. Andrew Cherng and Dr. Peggy Cherng, the Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.

Related lectures:

This lecture complemented the exhibition, Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road.