When: 4pm, February 9, 2017
Where: UBC Department of Asian Studies, Room 604.
Visualization is commonly regarded as the sine qua non of tantric Buddhist practice, and scholars have sought to trace the relationship between visualization and the use of images in the evolution of tantric or esoteric Buddhist ritual. Thus, dhāraṇī scriptures have often been classified as ‘proto-tantric’ and marshaled to argue for the gradual interiorization of esoteric ritual. I argue that dhāraṇī scriptures are not the inevitable predecessors of esoteric ritual, that the ritual use of images and visualization are independent developments, and that eighth-century and later forms of esoteric ritual can be understood as a liturgical technology for the production of a kind of public subjectivity. Finally, I will reflect on the preoccupation with visualization in scholarly discourses about the tantras.
About the Speaker: