Visualizing the Pure Land: Images and Imagination in Buddhist Practice by Randall L. Nadeau, Ph.D.

Friday, June 16, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

John L. Santikos Auditorium

Lectures

Price: Free with Museum admission.

Professor Randall Nadeau, a scholar of Buddhism and East Asian cultures at Trinity University, will discuss the cosmological system of Pure Land Buddhism, the “Pure Land – Zen synthesis” of Chinese Buddhism, and the development of Pure Land schools in late Tokugawa Japan.

“Pure Land Buddhism” is the most popular form of Buddhism in the world. Founded in China in the 5th century AD, and enjoying its full flowering in Korea and Japan, Pure Land Buddhism affirms the existence of a multi-layered cosmological system featuring multiple heavens and hells, and a vast array of rewards and punishments after death. Pure Land devotionalism remains at the heart of Buddhist practice in East Asian countries to the present day.

The highest heaven is called in Sanskrit Sukhavati, “Blissful” – richly described in the Pure Land scriptures as a paradise of ecological harmony, vibrant color, harmonious music, and the absence of rancor or fear. In East Asian Buddhism, this heavenly realm was counterbalanced by hellish prisons, where evil-doers were destined to suffer illimitable punishments for their sins. During one’s lifetime, all of one’s actions were measured as good or evil, and the consequences of sin could only be overcome by faith in the great Buddha ruling over Sukhavati, the Buddha Amitabha, King of the Pure Land.

 



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