[INDOLOGY] Call for papers : international Conference On Indian Buddhism in Its Social Context

Stella Sandahl ssandahl at sympatico.ca
Tue Mar 11 08:54:45 UTC 2014

Dear Birendra Nath,
If this conference takes place March 27-28, 2014, i.e. in about two weeks, it seems a bit late to call for papers! 
Stella Sandahl
ssandahl at sympatico.ca

On 2014-03-11, at 1:51 AM, Birendra Nath Prasad wrote:

> Concept Note for an International Conference to be organised by  the Department of History, BB Ambedkar University, Lucknow, India (March 27-28 ,2014)
> Indian Buddhism in Its Social Context: From Sakyamuni Buddha to the Present.
> ******************************************************************** 
> In a significant section of Indian historiography, Buddhism is believed to be a world-negating soteriology of ‘asocial’ monks. It is also generally believed that beyond the monastic walls, it hardly had any social presence. When the Turkic invasions destroyed the big monastic centres of Indian Buddhism, Buddhism simply disappeared from the land of its birth. This approach fails to explain why a religion without any social relevance survived in India for more than fifteen hundred years and why it was reinvented, reformulated and adopted in the context of social reform movements in Colonial and Post-Colonial India. In contemporary India, we see that Buddhism has become an essential component of Dalit identity formulation, mobilisation and consolidation. That is another indication of the continuing social relevance of Buddhism in India. 
> For long, study of ancient Indian Buddhist religious institutions has been dominated by art historical concerns only. A more pertinent approach may be to see them as important constituents of the overall societal matrix, as institutions in dynamic interaction with other societal institutions, acting and reacting with them, influencing them and getting influenced by them in turn. That is to say, Buddhist institutions must be visualised as social institutions, in dynamic interaction with other societal institutions. Unfortunately, Indian Buddhism has not been studied much from this perspective. 
> This Conference hopes to be an endeavour in unravelling some aspects of the patterns of interactions between Buddhism (including Buddhist institutions) and other social institutions in India from Sakyamuni Buddha to the present.  Papers are invited on the following themes: 
> 1.	Defining the ‘self ‘, defining the ‘other’: Did Indian Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) had any notion of self? Or did it consider itself just as a soteriology for the world-renouncing monks? If it had some definite notions of the ‘self’, how did it negotiate ‘other’ or ‘others’?  And what did it do nurture and cultivate the ‘self’?  Did the Buddhist ‘self’ include the lay followers?  That brings us to assess the relationship between the Buddhist Sangha and the laity. 
> 2.	Buddhism was one of the earliest world religions, yet it has developed remarkable local colours across the vast landmass of Asia. This ‘localization’ process, what has been earlier referred to as ‘translation in the local idiom’, has been well documented in the case of many Asian countries, but it has barely begun for India. Future researches on the functional dimensions of Indian monastic Buddhism may negotiate one core issue: how does the Saṅgha localize at a particular place by resolving what Richard Cohen calls ‘uniquely local problems’, yet retain its supra-local character? To analyse the twists and turns of this supralocal–local dialectic, shifting the focus away from the Ārya- caturdiśa-bhikṣu-saṅgha, (‘Universal) Noble Saṅgha of the Four Quarters’ to the individual monastery in its spatial context may not be a bad idea. This will naturally entail a greater use of archaeological data and archaeological fieldwork.
> This approach forces us to revisit many established notions regarding the social bases of patronage to Indian Buddhism and Buddhist institutions. How did the monastic tradition localise at a particular place? How did it try to negotiate the local socio-economic, political and cultic situations? Once a Buddhist monastery or a stupa established its presence at a particular site, how did it mobilise resources for its survival? Which section of society patronised Buddhism and Buddhist institutions? With what motives?  What did the Buddhist Sangha provide in return to its patrons? Are there spatial variations in the patterns of interactions between the Sangha and its patrons as one moves out of the middle and upper Ganga valley? How did Buddhist institutions survive without any kind of royal patronage in many cases? 
> 3.	Ancient Indian  Buddhism and social hierarchies (Varna/Jati/ gender)
> 4.	 Patterns of interaction between Ancient Indian Buddhism and Indian political orders and processes. 
> 5.	Ancient Indian Buddhism and economic processes: craft production, trade, urbanisation, agriculture. 
> 6.	Buddhism and medicine in ancient India: textual and archaeological perspectives. 
> 7.	 Socio-economic contexts of ancient Indian Buddhist art and architecture. 
> 8.	Archaeology   and the reconstruction of social and economic history of ancient Indian Buddhism.
> 9.	Role of pilgrimage in Indian Buddhism: textual, epigraphic and archaeological perspectives. 
> 10.	The social and economic philosophy of  ancient Indian Buddhism 
> 11.	Buddhism and Environment 
> 12.	Decline of Indian Buddhism: socio-economic factors. 
> 13.	 The social dimensions of Buddhist revival movements in colonial, post-colonial and contemporary India. 
> In this section, we are particularly interested in tracing the interface between the Dalit and backward castes identity movements and Buddhist revival movements. Why and how was Buddhism appropriated and reformulated by the Ambedkarite Dalits? What are the ideological and institutional aspects of Buddhist revival movements in post-Colonial and contemporary India? Do we see any variation in the patterns of Buddhist revival movements in different parts of India? 
> 14.	Any other theme related to the social dimensions of Indian Buddhism. 
> Paper submission
> The length of your paper should be around ten thousand words. It should contain a short abstract and four or five key words. In the end, provide a detailed bibliography.  Abstracts should be sent latest by 15th March, 2014. All abstracts and full papers shall be reviewed. You will be extended a formal invitation if your paper proposal is finally accepted. 
> We intend to invite around 30 scholars from different parts of India and abroad. We will like to ensure that papers cover all parts of India (including Pakistan and Bangladesh). Each scholar will be given 20 minutes to present his/her paper. That shall be followed by a discussion for 15 minutes. 
> Within 4 months of the date of the Conference, you will be required to submit the final copy of your paper. It is our intention to publish the selected papers from the Conference in the form of a book. 
> Accommodation
> If your paper is accepted, we will provide local hospitality and accommodation for the Conference period to all outstation delegates. 
> Travelling allowance 
> If your paper proposal is accepted, we will provide 3AC rail fare for all Indian delegates and economy class return airfare to international delegates. We will not be able to reimburse Visa expenses. No DA will be provided. 
> Correspondence 
> Kindly direct all correspondence to either Prof. S.Victor Babu (Head of the Department of History, BBAU , Lucknow . Email :  saragandlavb at gmail.com) or to Birendra Nath Prasad, Assistant Professor, History Deptt , BBAU , Lucknow . Email:   bp2628 at yahoo.com ). In your email, kindly do mention your contact number and institutional affiliation. 
> --------------------------------------------
> On Mon, 3/10/14, indology-request at list.indology.info <indology-request at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Subject: INDOLOGY Digest, Vol 14, Issue 10
> To: indology at list.indology.info
> Date: Monday, March 10, 2014, 9:30 PM
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> Today's Topics:
>    1. Meter identifying tool --- The actual
> usage and funcrion    of
>       metres (Michael Hahn)
>    2. Dhauli Elephant (Artur Karp)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2014 17:05:21 +0100
> From: Michael Hahn <hahn.m at t-online.de>
> To: indology at list.indology.info
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] Meter identifying tool --- The actual
> usage and
>     funcrion    of metres
> Message-ID: <20140309170519.09C3.CF0E9E7 at t-online.de>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> Many thanks to Prof. Kulkarni's hint of the valuable meter
> identifying
> tool, which greatly facilitates the task of the
> inexperienced student. In
> this connection I would like to mention my observations
> regarding the
> actual use of metres in classical Sanskrit literature.
> There are two comprehensive collections and statistics of
> metres
> occurring in Sanskrit literature: one by K?hnau (based on
> Stenzler's
> collections), one by H. D. Velankar. For the bibliographical
> details see
> my paper A030 on www.academia.edu. From these papers we can
> see that not
> many more than 100 metres do actually occur in serious
> Sanskrit texts 
> (the higher figure is some 130 metres). These 100 metres can
> roughly
> be divided into two halves of 50 each with 50 of them being
> used very,
> very rarely. The remaining 50 metres can again be split into
> two halves
> of 25 comparatively rare metres and 25 frequently used
> metres which
> every student of Sanskrit literature should know. They are
> the content
> of page 6 of my "Brief introduction ..."
> These figures contrast highly with what theory teaches. The
> most
> comprehensive index of Sanskrit and Prakrit metres that can
> be found in
> H. D. Velankar's (a really great scholar and metrician)
> wonderful
> edition of Hemacandra's Chandonusasana lists about 1,000
> different
> meters. However, it is absolutely useless and superfluous to
> study all
> of them if only one tenth of them does actually occur. It
> does not mean
> anything if a would-be poet takes one of the additional
> metres from a
> chandahsastra and uses it only to show his erudition, if
> nobody else
> knows his particular metre. As Ashwini Deo has convincingly
> shown in her
> ground-breaking paper on Sanskrit metrics, it is very
> unlikely for any
> literature to actively use such a great variety of metres.
> Even the 100
> (130) metres listed by K?hnau and Velankar are not really
> different
> metres, but can be reduced to a much smaller number of basic
> pattens and
> their variations, as are Indravajra, Upendravajra and
> Upajati, Vamsastha,
> Indravamsa ind Vamsamala, Salini and Vaisvadevi, the four
> Vaitaliya and
> Aupacchandasaka off-shoots etc. etc. By the way, in the
> 1,130 stanzas of
> his Kapphinabhyudaya the poet Sivasvamin uses 43 different
> metres, which
> is the highest number of metres in a classical work (from
> the first
> millenium) I know of. Practically all of them belong to my
> "50 not
> extremely rare metres" category; see my edition, Delhi 2013.
> The
> Buddhist authors Aryasura, Haribhatta, Gopadatta use not
> more than 30
> metres in their campu poems. The 150 metres in
> Jnanasrimitras
> Vrttamalastuti do not mean anything because they only serve
> as
> illustrations of theory.
> In sharp contrast with the predilections of the Indian
> metricians for
> the increase of the number of metres and the invention of
> ever new
> varieties stands their neglect of, or silence about, some of
> the basic
> laws.of Indian metrics that every body knew and followed but
> nobody
> ever included in the sastras. Pingala teaches four varieties
> of vipulas
> for the sloka (anustubh, vaktra) metre: bhrau ntau, i.e. bh,
> ra, na, and
> ta vipula. This might habe been valid for his time. Until
> the 11th
> century CE no one seems to have noticed that the ta vipula
> is virtually
> non-existing in classical Sanskrit literature whereas
> another vipula,
> the ma-vipula, is actually the most specific and most
> frequently used
> among them. Ratnakarasanti is the first to reluctantly
> acknowledge it:
> d.r.s.taa makaare.naapy eva.m 
> Moreover, Indian metricians confined themselves only to the
> description
> of the syllables 5, 6, and 7 of the quarter, remaining
> tacits about the
> generally fixed structure of the preceding ga.na. It was
> left to Western
> scholars on the 19th century to formulate thosee laws that
> the Indian
> poets intuitively knew and followed already 2000 years
> earlier.
> The point of my remarks is that the metrical theory as
> represented by
> the chandahsastras is one thing and the actual practice of
> the poets
> something quite different. I would like to encourage a
> deeper research
> on the practical side (as done in an exmplary manner by
> Ashwini Deo, on
> a high theoretical analytical level) and to devote more
> energy to the as
> yet only unsufficiently explored question, what the
> different metres
> meant for Indian poets, what they regarded as their specific
> functions.
> Ksemendra in his Suvrttatilaka is by far too superficial. I
> have written
> about this topic but unfortunately mostly in German.
> Michael Hahn
> ---
> Prof. Dr. Michael Hahn
> Ritterstr. 14
> D-35287 Amoeneburg
> Tel. +49-6422-938963
> Fax: +49-6422-938967
> E-mail: hahn.m at t-online.de
> URL: staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~hahnm
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 17:28:16 +0100
> From: Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl>
> To: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] Dhauli Elephant
> Message-ID:
> <CAEgrCzAvt3_wH2KNB=uH5L=JBK=4DvQdAC-QM3Sa29AQz+HKbA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Sorry for X-posting ---
> Dear List,
> Does someone know the source of this pen ink drawing?
> http://www.safarmer.com/Dhauli.elephant.jpg
> Thanks in advance,
> Artur Karp

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