Last week we were delighted to welcome Professor Ashley Thompson (Hiram W. Woodward Chair in Southeast Asian Art at SOAS, University of London) to Edinburgh to give the inaugural Khyentse Buddhist Studies Lecture.
The lecture, generously funded by the Khyentse Foundation, will be held annually in the spring, and we hope to invite a range of speakers from around the world over the coming years.
The lectures are hosted by the Asian Religions Network, a fairly new research network at the University of Edinburgh that brings together scholars and postgraduate students with an interest in the religions of/in Asia.
Professor Thompson gave a very stimulating lecture that took a pair of Cambodian Buddha statues as a starting point for a discussion of Theravada Buddhist understandings of repetitive and non-repetitive time. Explorations of symmetry and other aspects of the composition helped to tie the specific site – and its art-historical significance – to wider questions in Buddhist Studies.
Readers based further south in the UK may be interested to hear that Professor Thompson’s Inaugural Lecture at SOAS on 5th May 2016 will touch upon similar themes: further details available on the SOAS website.