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Upcoming guest lecture: "Hachiman as a bodhisattva and a god of war", by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Scheid ​from the University of Vienna.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday 28 March, 4pm at Blandijnberg, Auditorium 1 (Jan Broeckx). Please find an abstract of the talk below.

In 749 a hitherto marginal deity from Kyushu by the name of Yahata 八幡 (sinojap. Hachiman) became the protecting kami of the still unfinished Great Buddha in Nara. This was the beginning of an illustrious career, which turned Hachiman into one of the most popular Shintō deities of Japan today. A decisive factor in the early history of Hachiman was his support by Buddhist monks, which explains among other things the fact that Hachiman was known as Hachiman Daibosatsu (Great Bodhisattva Hachiman) until the religious reforms of the Meiji period. Later, Hachiman was also referred to as a ‘god of war’ (g​unjin 軍神 or bushin 武神). This capacity gained importance especially after the Mongol attempts to conquer Japan in 1274 and 1281. In this talk I will outline the history of ‘Hachimanism’ from the Nara to the medieval periods and try to explain how the seemingly contradictory attributes of this deity fit together. I will also take Hachiman as an example to illustrate the role of Buddhism in the creation and interpretation of kami at that time.

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We are happy to announce that the artist and archaeologist/art historian Lia Wei (PhD from SOAS, London) will give a lecture in the framework of our PhD reading group on Friday, March 23rd, 15:00-17:00, 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).

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We are happy to announce the following two upcoming lectures by Georgios Halkias (Hong Kong University) and Neil Schmid (Dunhuang Academy). For more information, please see below:…/lecture-georgios-halkias-and-n…

Discussion published by Ben Van on Friday, March 2, 2018 0 Replies Dear Colleagues,The Centre for Buddhist Studies at Ghent University, with the support of the Tianzhu foundation, is pleased to announce 2 upcoming lectures by Georgios Halkias (University of Hong Kong, click for more information) and...

Field visits of 2018 in the framework of the "From the Ground Up" project. Application deadline is 31. March.…/

Buddhism & East Asian Religions

Our master students doing "field work" in the Asian Collection of the Cinquantenaire Museum, Brussels. The museum also houses a large and exquisite library on Asian art and Buddhism.

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Christoph Anderl from GCBS will teach a 10-day course on "Medieval Chinese" in the framework of the Leiden Summer School in Languages and Linguistics 2018. This summer school has a long tradition and it is the first time that courses on Chinese are included. The course on "Medieval Chinese" will also focus on the development of Buddhist Hybrid Chinese in the period of Early Medieval Chinese, in addition to versions of vernacular Chinese as found in predominantly Buddhist manuscripts / texts of the Tang and Five Dynasties periods (Late Medieval Chinese). For a detailed course program (download of PDF following the link "View Program") and registration, please see below:…/summer-school-l…

"Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia" is a forthcoming edited volume, resulting from a collaborative project between the Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies and KHK, Ruhr University Bochum:…/buddhist-encounters-and-identities-a…

Buddhist Encounters and Identities across East Asia offers a fascinating picture of the intricacies of regional and cross-regional networks and the complexity of Buddhist identities emerging across Asia.

Christoph Anderl from GCBS gave a lecture on vernacular Buddhist Dunhuang manuscripts in the framework of the "Dunhuang Seminar Series" at Cambridge University.

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Our PhD researchers Anna Sokolova, Suzanne Burdorf, and Laurent Van Cutsem have just returned from an intensive and very inspiring two week stay at the 2018 Winter Program in Buddhist Studies at Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts - 法鼓文理學院 (in addition to attending a conference on Chan Buddhism). The pictures below were taken by Laurent (see also here:

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Ute Huesken added 4 new photos.

just out .... honoring a great colleague!

Upcoming Doctoral School at Ghent University (re-posted) with FIVE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AVAILABLE (see below for details):

The Centre for Buddhist Studies at Ghent University is pleased to announce a doctoral school intensive course on the topic of "Buddhism in Medieval Silk Culture," to take place from May 28th to June 1st, 2018, in Ghent, Belgium.

This specialist course introduces PhD students into the complex ways in which Buddhism in medieval China was ...

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New publication:
《破魔變》中英對照校注-Studies on the Transformation Text of the Destruction of Māra: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation into Modern Chinese and English, authored by 林靜慧, Christoph Anderl, and 洪振洲. Taipei, 法鼓文化 2017.

The publication is one of the results of the collaboration between DILA (Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Taiwan) and GCBS concerning the digitization and analytical mark-up of medieval Chinese Buddhist Dūnhuáng manuscripts. In this book, the medieval performative text on the temptation of and attack on Buddha by the demon Māra and his army is newly edited and translated into Modern Chinese and English. The publication also includes more than 100 pages of tables with Dūnhuáng variant characters and phonetic loan characters. In addition, substantial introductions in Chinese and English are added.

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First of all, GCBS wishes everybody a Happy New Year!

We are pleased to announce that we had a very good start into the New Year, and the GCBS was chosen as one of two European universities to be included into the newly established Tianzhu Buddhist Network, joining a total of ten universities around the globe, including Harvard University, UC Berkeley, and Peking University. The substantial funds will be distributed for at least five years, and will enable us to greatly expan...d our academic activities, such as inviting short- and long-term guest researchers and guest lecturers, funding the field work of our master and PhD students, conferences, work shops, and many other activities. The funds are distributed by the University of British Columbia, and are an extension of the large international project "From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions".
Both Ann Heirman and Christoph Anderl from the GCBS are involved in this project as co-applicants and research cluster leaders. We look very much forward to the collaboration within the new network! For 2018, several short- and long term visiting scholarships are under planning, and we will soon announce the schedule of 2018.

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Conference announcement:

This is a link to a conference on Buddhist studies which will take place in Taiwan. Prof. Ann Heirman is participating in this research project on Vinaya.

Vinaya Revival in 20th Century China and Taiwan 20-21 December, 2017 Saint Paul Hall, Fu Jen Catholic University 輔仁大學倬章大樓4 樓 聖保祿廳 (DG410) 新北巿新莊區中正路510號 Buddhist Monastic Discipline in Chin…

During the Research Day of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University, some of the Doctoral and Post-doctoral researchers of the Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies presented posters on their projects.

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