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Lecture by Prof Galambos
HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies 20th Anniversary Series
Public Lecture

The Changing Face of Filial Piety:
The Śyāma Jātaka in Dunhuang and beyond
Speaker: Prof. Imre Galambos

Time: 7-9 pm (HKT) | 27 Mar 2023 (Mon)
Venue:  CPD-2.58, 2/F, The Jockey Club Tower, 
Centennial Campus, HKU
KB223, 2/F, Knowles Building, HKU (venue changed) 

Conducted in English | All are welcome | Free admission


Organized by HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies

Sponsored by GS Charity Foundation


About the speaker:

Prof. Galambos is a specialist of Chinese and Tangut manuscripts from sites along the historical Silk Road. He received his PhD in 2002 from the University of California, Berkeley with a dissertation on the early history of Chinese writing. Following his graduation, he worked for ten years for the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library, where his research interests gradually turned to Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang. Since 2012, he has been teaching at Cambridge. His latest book, Dunhuang Manuscript Culture: End of the First Millennium, focuses on the trans-cultural aspects of Chinese manuscripts.

Lecture abstract

The Śyāma jātaka has been a popular Buddhist tale throughout Asia. Texts with the tale reached China relatively early and were translated into Chinese as part of longer scriptures starting at the third century AD. Images depicting scenes from the story appear at Dunhuang and other sites along the Silk Road. Nothing demonstrates the popularity of the jātaka in China more than that in addition to its spread to East Asia along with other Buddhist narratives it also became adopted into the non-Buddhist popular tradition as a story of a filial son. By the tenth century, the original jātaka story evolved into a separate version that was included among the twenty-four paragons of filial piety. This presentation looks at the diachronic development of the story and its transformation into a non-Buddhist narrative.

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