Author Archives: Tao Jiang

Tao JIANG teaches at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. His research interests include pre-Qin classical Chinese philosophy, Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy, and cross-cultural philosophy. He is the author of Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China (Oxford, 2021), Contexts and Dialogue: Yogācāra Buddhism and Modern Psychology on the Subliminal Mind (Hawai'i, 2006), and the co-editor of The Reception and Rendition of Freud in China (Routledge, 2013). He is chair of Religion Department and director of Center for Chinese Studies at Rutgers. He co-chairs the Rutgers Workshop on Chinese Philosophy (RWCP), the Neo-Confucian Studies Seminar at Columbia University, and the Buddhist Philosophy Unit at the American Academy of Religion.

A symposium on May 9-10: “A Crisis, or a New Direction?: Reconsidering the Translation of Chinese Philosophy”

【Lingnan Prism Symposium Series (3.2): “A Crisis, or a New Direction?: Reconsidering the Translation of Chinese Philosophy”】(https://prism-journal.org/2021/05/01/lps-3-2/)
An online symposium is to be held on 9-10 May, 2021, on past and contemporary attempts to tackle Chinese philosophy through translation in the Western world, from the Jesuit missionaries to present-day translators working in academia and beyond. Speakers will address the cultural impact of translated Chinese philosophical masterworks in the West in different historical periods, examining seminal texts of the Confucian, Buddhist and Daoist traditions.

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A talk on Yogācāra Buddhist Philosophy at Rutgers tonight (April 21, 7-8:30pm EDT)

It’s a bit last minute, but readers of this blog might be interested in the following talk tonight:

Can Ultimate Reality Change? Controversies Regarding the Yogic Practice School’s Path to Awakening” (John Powers, Deakin University, Australia)

Abstract:

The Yogic Practice School (Yogācāra) is one of the two main traditions of Indian Buddhist philosophy. Its luminaries made significant contributions to epistemology and logic, and they developed a sophisticated vision of the path to awakening aimed at transforming pathological mental patterns and developing attitudes conducive to more skillful engagement with other beings and the world. One of the most important Yogācāra doctrines is the “three natures”: the imputational, the other dependent, and the ultimately real. The first refers to false notions imputed to the phenomena of experience; the second involves viewing phenomena as arising in dependence on causes and conditions, which is correct on the conventional level but mistaken from an ultimate perspective. The ultimately real nature is how sages view things: without the false overlay of the imputational and free from subject-object dichotomy. I will begin with an overview of the three natures and how they function within the Yogācāra soteriological system, and will then discuss how the third—the ultimately real—has largely been mistranslated and misconstrued by contemporary scholars who work on the tradition. This is more than just termininological quibbling because correct understanding of the ultimately real is crucial to the entire Yogācāra project, and it has ramifications for Buddhist practice more generally.

Bio:

John Powers is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and Professor of Religion at Deakin University in Australia. He is the author of 18 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters, mainly on Buddhist philosophy and history of ideas, as well as environmental history, human rights, and gender, and propaganda. His books include A Bull of A Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism (Harvard, 2009) and Dignāga’s Investigation of the Percept and Its Philosophical Legacy (with Douglas Duckworth, David Eckel, Jay Garfield, Sonam Thakchoe, and Yeshes Thabkhas. Oxford, 2017).

Here’s the link to register: bit.ly/3sCe2JH