Chinese Translations of the Buddhist Vocabulary of Sense Perception during the Han and Three Kingdoms Periods

This talk is a preliminary investigation into a large set of sources pertaining to the some of the first encounters between Indian Buddhist and native Chinese thought: the Chinese translations of Indian Buddhist literature dating from the Han and Three-Kingdoms period ( (ca. 150-280 CE).

Friday, March 5, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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Often written using a technical vocabulary that was later largely abandoned (and is hence sometimes quite difficult to understand), these texts have rarely been studied systematically by modern scholars interested in Chinese religious or intellectual history. I will in this talk present some preliminary findings from this corpus concerning the way that the earliest Chinese Buddhist translators tried to render the sophisticated Indian Buddhist vocabulary of sense perception and its relationship to desire. Both the ways that they succeeded and the ways they failed may allow us to see the presuppositions concerning these topics on both sides in this dialog in a new light. 

Eric Greene is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Yale, where he has taught since 2016. He received his PhD (Buddhist Studies) from UC Berkeley, and specializes in the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism. His research focuses on topics including Buddhist meditation in China, Chinese Buddhist rituals of confession and atonement, the history of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, Buddhist image worship in China, and the history of Chinese Buddhist translation. 

This talk will be by Zoom.

Cost : Free but RSVP required

Jennifer Jung-Kim

Sponsor(s): Center for the Study of Religion