Responsable: Christophe Marquet

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Kitashirakawa bettô-chô 29, Sakyô-ku
606-8276 Kyoto
Tel: +81 75 701 0882
Fax: +81 75 701 0883
〒606-8276 京都市左京区北白川別当町29

©Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum
©Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum
Anna Seidel Memorial Lecture 2019 - Franciscus VERELLEN
ANNA SEIDEL MEMORIAL LECTURE  ( This lecture will be held in English. )

Title: Imperiled Destinies, Debt and Redemption in Medieval Daoism

Speaker: Franciscus Verellen(École française d’Extrême-Orient)

October 24, 2019   18:00-19:30

Place: Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies, Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University

Address: Kitashirakawa Higashi-ogura-cho 47, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8265

This center is located in different area from Kyoto University. Please check the location in advance.

In this lecture Franciscus Verellen presents his new book Imperiled Destinies: The Daoist Quest for Deliverance in Medieval China (Harvard 2019). Spanning eight centuries, the book examines the evolution of Daoist beliefs about human liability and redemption and procedures for rescuing an ill-starred destiny.  The medieval record portrays a world engulfed by evil, where human existence was mortgaged from birth and burdened by increasing debts and obligations in this world and the next. In the second century CE, Daoism emerged as a liturgical organization that engaged vigorously with Buddhism, transforming Chinese thinking about the causes of suffering, the nature of evil, and the aims of liberation. In the fifth century, elements of classical Daoism combined with Indian yoga to interiorize the quest for deliverance. The integrated liturgical order of the Tang encompassed a growing monastic community, lay society, and rituals on behalf of the state. Daoist sacraments acted on the unseen world, providing relief from apprehensions of death, disease, and loss. Drawing on prayer texts, liturgical sermons, and experiential narratives, Franciscus Verellen pays close attention to the Daoist vocabulary of redemption, the meaning of sacrifice, and metaphors bridging the visible and invisible realms. An imperiled destiny was freed through ritual debt forgiveness and deliverance meant healing, release, or the emergence from darkness into light.   

A historian of medieval China, Franciscus Verellen is professor in the History of Daoism and former director (2004-2014), École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), member of the Académie des Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, and senior research fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He currently heads the EFEO Hong Kong Center. Verellen’s main publications are in the fields of medieval religious culture and the history of the Tang-Five Dynasties transition, including the forthcoming The Defiant General (a biography of the late Tang general Gao Pian), Imperiled Destinies (Harvard University Press 2019), The Taoist Canon (3 vol., edited with Kristofer Schipper, University of Chicago Press 2004), and Du Guangting (Collège de France 1989).

Please apply in advance.

 anna seidel memorial lectures