Perspectives on Giving and Endowments from Buddhist Studies
In this talk, I will sketch various bodies of thought and evidence bearing upon the topics of giving (charity, donation, etc.; Skt dāna, Chn/Jpn 布施 etc.) and endowment in the Buddhist Tradition, and in Buddhist Studies as a field of scholarship. I will touch upon relevant background in various domains of Buddhist doctrine and thought, practice, and history. My aim will be to suggest various avenues of research into these questions which might be fruitful and interesting from a comparative and theory-building perspective.
Michael Radich taught at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, from 2005-2017, and is now Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2007 for a dissertation entitled “The Somatics of Liberation: Ideas about Embodiment in Buddhism from Its Origins to the Fifth Century C.E.”. He has authored two monographs: “How Ajātaśatru Was Reformed: The Domestication of ‘Ajase’ and Stories in Buddhist History” (Tokyo 2011), and “The Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra and the Emergence of Tathāgatagarbha Doctrine” (Hamburg 2015). He was also an editor of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Vol II: Lives (2019), and has built and maintained a major online bibliographic reference resource for the study of canonical Chinese Buddhist texts (https://dazangthings.nz/cbc/). He spent 2015 at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg, with the support of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, and in 2019, spent a semester at Stanford as Shinnyo-en Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies.