Dr Sam van Schaik (British Library) will give the Fourth Aris Lecture on 'Magic, Healing, and Ethics in Tibetan Buddhism' on Thursday 15 November 2018 from 6:15pm in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College.
Books of spells are a constant but little studied aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Used by lay people as well as monks and nuns, they contain a variety of rituals covering divination, healing and protection, making rain and stopping hail, and summoning and exorcising spirits and demons. Some books of spells contain other kinds of spells as well, such as to make someone fall in love, or to gain powers of clairvoyance, invisibility, and finding hidden treasure. Some, but not all books of spells contain aggressive spells -- what we commonly call 'black magic'. This talk looks at the role of books of spells in Tibetan Buddhism, and how the use of magic fits within the Buddhist ethical framework.
For more information about the Annual Aris Lectures please click here.