James Benn: Buddhism, Tea, and Material Culture in Premodern China

April 14, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – April 14, 2016 @ 6:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
SSMS 2135
Social Sciences and Media Studies
Isla Vista, CA 93117
Free (Open to the public)
Dominic Steavu-Balint

This lecture by James Benn (McMaster University) looks at the surviving artistic, material, and literary evidence for Buddhist involvement in the promotion of tea drinking and the invention of a Chinese tea culture in premodern times. Some of the questions it looks to answer include…

  • What was the connection between religious practice, beverage consumption and aesthetics in Tang and Song-dynasty China?
  • In what ways did Buddhist institutions, individuals, and ideologies help to create meaning around a relatively new beverage?
  • How can historians of religion and culture make sense of modes of consumption in the past?

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