News and Events

Upcoming Events (click for more information)

  • March 8th: Lectures by Georgios Halkias (University of Hong Kong, click for more information) and Neil Schmid (Dunhuang Academy). The topic of Dr. Schmid's presentation is below.

Neil Schmid Profile Pic Mogao Grottoes as Wunderkammern and the Mirabilia of Salvation

From the 4th to the 14th century, the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang were used as places of worship and pilgrimage. In 1900, 50,000 manuscripts, paintings on silk, and other votive objects were discovered, further enriching the vast collection of painted murals and sculpture contained in the 492 caves. Examining these materials, this talk discusses how and why the caves were created as ritual spaces and portals for transcendence, and in particular how the visual programs of caves employ a kind of “assemblage of otherness” – not unlike Renaissance Wunderkammern – to promote both social and soteriological goals.

  • March 8th: Lecture by Tillo Detiege on “Practicing Theory, Theorizing Practice? Theravāda Buddhist Pāli Technical Terms in the Contemporary Teaching of Vipassanā Meditation”
  • March 23rd: Lecture by Lia Wei (PhD SOAS, associate of the East Asian Studies Department of the Université Libre de Bruxelles) on the epigraphy of rock carvings of the 6th century Buddhist monk Seng'an Daoyi 僧安道壹. There is space for a limited number of additional participants (please send an email to for registration). Click here for a book chapter by Dr. Wei on this topic
  • April 27th: Lecture by Hong Xiuping (Nanjing University)
  • May 28th-June 1st: Doctoral school on "Buddhism and Silk Culture" taught by Stuart Young, Ann Heirman, and Christoph Anderl

Recent and Upcoming Publications by Members of the Center