Dr Elaine Buck
Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS
Most contact with Chinese Buddhism is limited to a brief encounter with some images on display in a museum context and appreciated primarily for their aesthetic appeal. This barely touches on, and possibly obscures, the role played by Buddhism in China, not to mention the impact of China on Buddhism.
This talk tries to shine the light on some areas in which Buddhism played a major role in China – from the introduction of the concept of a religious icon, to the development of new forms of architecture such as the cave temple and pagoda, as well as forms of material culture including the chair, rosary and ruyi sceptre.