Professor Lewis Lancaster至本系演讲「MARITIME BUDDHISM」

  • 2016-11-15
  • Ruling Digital

 MARITIME BUDDHISM

On October 26th, 2016 the Department of Buddhist Studies had the privilege of receiving Professor Lewis Lancaster, from University of California Berkeley as a guest lecturer on “Maritime Buddhism.” Professor Lancaster has been conducting a research project called “Atlas of Maritime Buddhism.” The Atlas aims to show that Buddhist artefacts and sites clustered at seaports in India, as well as, around a number of other regions in Southeast Asia and Southern China. He believes that the network of Indian seaport merchants were a primary support for the spread of religions.

Professor Lancaster argued that sea mercantile activities during the early centuries may have enabled Buddhism to spread via sea trade routes towards the East. He began with introducing the idea that if we look at the earth from a different perspective, we will begin to see that all continents are linked. In this perspective, travel to any place in the world is possible; and while the land mass has remained the same, coastlines of the continents have changed. Furthermore, the areas to which Buddhism has spread seem to fall within a particular area, and most of the edges of this area are defined by sea. An examination of archaeological evidence, Buddhists artefacts, gathered from Southern India locations around or near seaports, may explain that not all trades could have taken place using land routes considering the numerous obstacles and high expense of such endeavours.  If we examine this, a new pattern seems to emerge which made the transmission of Buddhism via sea trades a stronger possibility.

 

Professor Lancaster showed that if one thinks “out of the box”, and goes further by looking for patterns, new insights could be reached. Apart from showing us the possibility of Maritime Buddhism, Professor Lancaster also showed us that pushing the boundaries of established scholarship, asking questions and engaging in out-of-the-box thinking can reveal new views on subjects we may have thought to be already well explored. This lecture was certainly a rare opportunity for those who were fortunate enough to attend, to be able to appreciate and learn much from this experienced gentleman scholar.

 

海洋上的佛教

20161026日佛教学系荣幸的接待了Lewis Lancaster教授,教授来自加州大学伯克莱分校,讲座题目为海洋上的佛教 Lancaster教授正在进行一个计画名为海洋上的佛教舆图。这个舆图的目的在于标示出在印度港口及东南亚及南洋地区周边所找到的佛教文物。他认为,印度海港商人的网络是宗教传播的的主要支撑。

Lancaster教授(认为),佛教向东边传播有可能借助于海上商业贸易活动的早期几个世纪。教授建议如果我们从不同的角度来看地球,我们可以开始看到,所有的大陆都是连在一起的。所以旅行到任何地方都是可行的;虽然地球板块维持不变,但海岸线却发生了变化。而且佛教传播似乎都是在边界靠海的某几个区域。从印度南部及靠海的区域所收集的佛教文物之考古证物,因为陆地上的贸易通常会花费相当多的时间与金钱,所以可以说明商业贸易不是只有陆地上的。如此来看,佛教透过海上贸易传播的可能性很高。

Lancaster教授指出我们可以跳脱一般的思维模式与找出不同的格局,我们将可以拥有新的见识。Lancaster教授不只告诉我们海洋上的佛教的可能性,还教导我们去拓展既定佛教学术的范围,跳脱一般的思维模式与提出问题有助于我们从被认为已经被研究透彻的题目找出新的观点。有幸参与这次演讲的同学觉得这是一个很难得从这位博学多闻的学者身上学习的机会。