A.R.Davis Memorial Lecture | Daoist plans for a millennium of great peace

Please join the Australian Society for Asian Humanities for the 2022 A.R. Davis Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by Dr Barbara Hendrischke

Date and time
Thu., 27 October 2022, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time

Online event. Please register here

About this event

In the second century CE, the leaders of the newly founded Daoist religion promised to rescue their followers from the devastation that was accompanying the breakdown of the Han dynasty empire and was expected to soon reach apocalyptic proportions. Believers in Dao would be saved into millennial bliss. The authors of the Scripture on Great Peace (Taipingjing 太平經) saw great peace as universal in scope. It would arrive once human society agreed with heaven’s laws and natural order. So, they devised new social, cultural and administrative guidelines and practices. One example was the plans to improve the flow and reliability of written communication between the people, administrative strata and the imperial court. The authors made practical suggestions for the conveyance of documents and reflected on the role of control and fear in preventing informants at the grassroots from reaching decision-makers.

About the speaker

Barbara Hendrischke has been teaching at the Universities of Melbourne and New South Wales and is now a Research Fellow with the University of Sydney China Studies Centre. Her publications include books on Wenzi (Frankfurt 1974) and the Taipingjing (Berkeley 2006).

Organised by the Australian Society for Asian Humanities, the A.R. Davis Memorial Lecture is held annually to commemorate A.R.Davis, Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Sydney and an important scholar of Asian Studies in post-war Australia. This year, the event is kindly supported by the University of Sydney China Studies Centre.

One reply

  1. As I understand it, there is a coming program on the Armageddon notion. I anticipate that and will try to see it, having written my own assessment of the reality or fantasy of its’ invention. Eastern ideas of a great peace may or may not be anything more realistic than biblical prophecy of final judgment. All such things are founded in faith, which is grounded in belief, which, in turn is metaphysical. This is all well and good. The metaphysical grounds our being. Everything else supports our existence in the world.

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