[INDOLOGY] Conference announcement: Zürich ​ February 19–20, 2016

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 20:12:47 UTC 2016

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <olga.serbaeva at aoi.uzh.ch>
Date: 28 January 2016 at 02:35

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to post on the Indology list the information about a
conference that will take place in Zurich.

Transgression and Encounters with the Terrible in Buddhist and Śaiva Tantras

1st Zurich International Conference on Indian Literature and Philosophy
February 19–20, 2016Organizers

Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar, Dr. Olga Serbaeva

Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies – Indian Studies and URPP Asia and

University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Room RAA
E-29, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich

Religious-philosophical texts, doctrines and practices referred to by
scholars as “Tantric” are renowned for propagating not only liberation, but
also the acquisition of extra-ordinary powers as a goal initiated adepts
should strive for. The latter includes also ritual practices that entail an
infringement of the (often Veda based) rules and norms that usual regulate
socio-ritual behaviour. For instance, the ritual consumption of “impure”
products of the body, ritualized cannibalism, the use of body parts of the
victim in a variety of magic procedures, illicit sexual practices belong to
a typical set of transgressive practices that can be found in many early
Śaiva and Buddhist Tantras. Encounters with frightening, terrible aspects
of gods and goddesses as well as with horrible demonic and other non-human
powers are also important aspects of the empowerment of the adepts. These
elements are characteristic for Tantrism as a religious formation that has
been followed across various Hindu and Buddhist traditions not only in
South Asia, but also in South-East and East Asia.

The conference aims to explore different levels at which Buddhist and Śaiva
Tantras are interconnected. The focus is on the ritual and dogmatic
similarities between these two religious traditions in relation to
transgressive rituals and encounters of the practitioners with frightening
and ambivalent beings *(yoginīs, ḍākinīs, rākṣasas*, etc.) brought about by
those rituals. It shall be discussed how the inclusion of transgression and
the horrible is conceptualized in Buddhist and Śaiva texts, and in which
ways such practices are related to or embedded in standard normative

This event inaugurates the *Zurich International Conference on Indian
Literature and Philosophy (ZICILP). *This conference is dedicated to the
study of the history and selected themes of Indian Literature and
Philosophy in the past and present. This international conference aims to
bring together scholars from various fields for discussing their research
and further developing the scope and the methods of study. The conference
is regularly hosted by the Department of Indian Studies of the Institute of
Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich.


With my best wishes,

Sincerely Yours,

Olga Serbaeva Saraogi

Dr. Olga Serbaeva Saraogi
Asien-Orient-Institut, Abteilung Indologie
Universität Zürich
Rämistr. 59
8001 Zürich
+41 44 634 22 81

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