AABS visting lecture series w/ John Powers

Professor John Powers from Deakin University is the holder of the 2021 University Buddhist Education Foundation (UBEF) Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies. As part of this Professorship, he will deliver a series of talks, all of which will take place on Zoom.

In the lecture series, he will explore a range of issues relating to the history and study of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Following this lecture series and a public talk, he will conduct a two-session workshop, in which participants will closely read some of the most doctrinally significant sections of the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra, along with the canonical commentaries. While a knowledge of the Tibetan language is preferred for these workshop sessions, it is not essential.


Zoom link: Launch Meeting - Zoom
6TER1Qkd1K3RtczgvdDdiQT09 (password: 235471)

Lecture 1. The Contested Middle: Tibetan Debates Regarding How to Understand Madhyamaka
Thursday, 28 October, 6:00-7:30pm

Lecture 2. Can Ultimate Reality Change? The Three Natures/Three Characters Doctrine in Indian Yogācāra and Its Modern Interpreters
Thursday, 4 November, 6:00-7:30pm

Lecture 3. What’s Wrong with Studying Texts? Current Debates in the Field of Buddhist Studies
(With Dr Mark Allon and Dr Jim Rheingans)
Thursday, 11 November, 6:00-7:30pm


Zoom link: Launch Meeting - Zoom
6TER1Qkd1K3RtczgvdDdiQT09 (password: 235471)

Tibet’s Rivers and Climate Change: How Events in a Remote Area Affect Australia And the World
Thursday, 18 November, 6:00-7:30pm


Zoom link: TBA

Reading the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra: What Was the Buddha Really Thinking?

Friday, 26 November, 2:00-5:00pm; and
Saturday, 27 November, 27, 2:00-5:00pm

John Powers is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and author of 18 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters, mainly focused on the Buddhist history of ideas in India and Tibet. His books include A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism (Harvard, 2009) and The Buddha Party: How the Chinese Commumist Party Works to Define and Control Tibetan Buddhism (Oxford, 2015).

UBEF Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies

The University Buddhist Education Foundation (UBEF) Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies was established at the University of Sydney in 2009 through the generosity of the UBEF for the purpose of sponsoring an extended visit to Sydney of a distinguished international scholar in any field of Buddhist Studies in order to expose students and academics to current trends in research and to raise the profile of Buddhist Studies in Australia. It is administered by the Department of Indian Sub-continental Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures. Past recipients are Professors Peter Skilling (EFEO, 2009), Geoffrey Samuel (University of Cardiff, 2010), Karen Lang (Virginia, 2011), Bernard Faure (Columbia, 2012), David Eckel (Boston University, 2013), Richard Salomon (University of Washington, 2016), Lara Braitstein (McGill University, 2018) and Michael Zimmerman (University of Hamburg, 2019).