The Stuff of Buddhist Leisure

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 - 5:00pm6:30pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

The Stuff of Buddhist Leisure

Amusement Parks and Socially Dis-Engaged Buddhism in Asia

Justin McDaniel

Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

How does the Buddhist doctrine of non-attachment work in the modern world? Penn Professor and Buddhist monk Justin McDaniel will describe the growth of a new leisure culture all across the Buddhist world, in Nepal, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Focusing on the rise of tourist attractions, memorial gardens and monuments, museums and cultural centers, and even amusement parks, McDaniel will show how these sites of leisure are altering the place of the individual within contemporary Buddhist culture.

Cosponsored by the Department of Religious Studies.


Justin McDanielJustin McDaniel’s research foci include Lao, Thai, Pali and Sanskrit literature, Southeast Asian Buddhism, ritual studies, manuscript studies, asceticism, the undead, and general phantasmagoria. His first book, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). It won the Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies for the best first book in Southeast Asian Studies. His second book, The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011) won the George Kahin Prize for best book by a senior scholar in Southeast Asian Studies. He has co-edited another five books on Pali and Thai literature, Palm-leaf Manuscript research, modern Buddhist biography, Material Culture and Religion, and liturgical studies. He is the co-editor of the journals Buddhism Compass and Journal of Lao Studies and has been named a Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Luce Fellow and recently was named one of the top ten most innovative professors in North America by the Chronicle of Higher Education. His most recent book is the Architects of Buddhist Leisure (U.Hawaii Press, 2017).

Image courtesy of Justin McDaniel

Event is free and open to the public.
Pre-registration requested.

ASL Interpretation provided.