Pu Yin Lecture Series 2022: Dr. Rae Erin Dachille

Oct. 17, 2022

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: The location of Dr. Dachille’s lecture has been changed to Kachina Lounge, Student Union.]


Dear Friends of the Center for Buddhist Studies,


Please join us on October 31st at 4 pm in Kachina Lounge, Student Union for the next lecture of Pu Yin Lecture Series of the term! 


Speaker: Dr. Rae Erin Dachille (Assistant Professor, Religious Studies and East Asian Studies, University of Arizona, author of Searching for the Body: A Contemporary Perspective on Tibetan Buddhist Tantra)


Talk title: “Body as Image: Navigating Representations through Buddhist Exegesis”




The perpetual stream of images circulating through our digitally enhanced worlds demands constant interpretation. Buddhist thought attests that the struggle to locate meaning amongst a barrage of representations is not unique to the contemporary moment but rather a key dimension of being human. In this talk, I describe the plight of two Tibetan scholar monks grappling with the limits of interpretation in a fifteenth-century debate on body mandala. Tantric adepts engaging in body mandala practice transform the body into a celestial palace inhabited by buddhas through ritual acts of imagination. While Ngorchen Künga Zangpo (1382-1456) and Khédrupjé Gélek Pelzangpo (1385-1438) disagree on the sources for performing this practice and its ritual mechanics, both embrace body mandala as a potent means of transformation. I highlight intriguing connections between ritual and commentarial practice evident in their body mandala debate. Moreover, I demonstrate the relevance of the skills of such Buddhist exegetes, guides in navigating the paradoxes of representations, for addressing contemporary debates on representation and embodiment. 


Speaker Bio:


Dr. Rae Erin Dachille (Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies, University of California at Berkeley) specializes in the religious and artistic traditions of Himalayan Buddhism. Her research focuses upon representations of the body in art, ritual, philosophy, and medicine in Tibetan and Sanskrit sources.  


Time and Location:

Oct. 31 (Monday), 2022

Time: 4:00-5:30 pm (Arizona Time)

Location: Kachina Lounge, Student Union

Address: 1303 E. University Blvd., Tucson


Save the Date for the next lecture: 

Nov. 15 (Tuesday)

Speaker: Robert Sharf (Professor; Chair of the Berkeley Center for Buddhist Studies, UC Berkeley)

Talk title: “Thinking Through Zen Kōans”


Nov. 16 (Wednesday)

Speaker: Elizabeth Sharf (Independent Scholar)

Talk title: “How to Read Ingen’s Portraits”


These lecture series are made possible thanks to the generous support from Pu Yin Education Center and Matcha.com. For more information about our lecture series, please visit our website: https://cbs.arizona.edu/event/2022-fall-lecture-series


We look forward to seeing you there!