About the event
Friday, October 9, 2020 | 8:00 – 9:30 AM
Over the course of 1500 years, Chinese Buddhist historiography emerged and developed under the shadow of the more prestigious tradition of court historiography. But by turning to the doctrine of karma, Buddhist historians felt that they could see the past with greater clarity than their non-Buddhist counterparts. That is, not only did Buddhist historians think that they could demonstrate the truth of karma through careful examination of the historical record; they also thought that they could better explain historical causation than those unaware of the power of karma as a historical force. In this presentation, I will explore the appeal of karma for Buddhist historians in China, as well as their use of history as a way of thinking through the doctrine.