Professor Lewis Lancaster至本系演講「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日佛教學系榮幸的接待了Lewis Lancaster教授,教授來自加州大學伯克萊分校,講座題目為海洋上的佛教 Lancaster教授正在進行一個計畫名為海洋上的佛教輿圖。這個輿圖的目的在於標示出在印度港口及東南亞及南洋地區週邊所找到的佛教文物。他認為,印度海港商人的網絡是宗教傳播的的主要支撐。

Lancaster教授(認為),佛教向東邊傳播有可能借助於海上商業貿易活動的早期幾個世紀。教授建議如果我們從不同的角度來看地球,我們可以開始看到,所有的大陸都是連在一起的。所以旅行到任何地方都是可行的;雖然地球板塊維持不變,但海岸線卻發生了變化。而且佛教傳播似乎都是在邊界靠海的某幾個區域。從印度南部及靠海的區域所收集的佛教文物之考古證物,因為陸地上的貿易通常會花費相當多的時間與金錢,所以可以說明商業貿易不是只有陸地上的。如此來看,佛教透過海上貿易傳播的可能性很高。

Lancaster教授指出我們可以跳脫一般的思維模式與找出不同的格局,我們將可以擁有新的見識。Lancaster教授不只告訴我們海洋上的佛教的可能性,還教導我們去拓展既定佛教學術的範圍,跳脫一般的思維模式與提出問題有助於我們從被認為已經被研究透徹的題目找出新的觀點。有幸參與這次演講的同學覺得這是一個很難得從這位博學多聞的學者身上學習的機會。