Research Conversations Michaelmas Term 2019

The first Research Conversations of the academic year, organised by Professor Martin Goodman, will take place on Friday 22 November from 1pm in the Spalding Room.

Professor Ulrike Roesler will be in conversation with Professor Alison Salvesen about her new book project Tibetan Monasticism in the Making: the Case of Reting Monastery. We tend to take it for granted that Tibetan society is strongly shaped by Buddhist doctrines, beliefs, and practices. However, Buddhism became prevalent on the Tibetan plateau relatively late, around the 11th and 12th centuries CE. The rise of Buddhism in this period led to a large-scale adoption of monasticism, a form of religious communal life that was alien to the indigenous religious traditions of Tibet. Why is it that Buddhism, including its monastic form, became so popular, and what were the factors that contributed to the success of the monastic tradition? The monastery of Reting, founded in 1057 in Central Tibet, will serve as a case study to explore these questions.

Professor Jeremy Johns will be in conversation with Dr Arezou Azad about his research project Documenting Multiculturalism, which studies the administrative and legal documents of the island Sicily under Norman and Hohenstaufen rule, in order to explore relations between the diverse confessional, ethnic and linguistic communities of the island — Arabic-speaking Muslims and Jews, Greek Christians, and Latin Christians. The project investigates the legal foundations upon which the coexistence of the island’s communities rested; the nature, extent and results of cultural, linguistic and social interactions  between them; and variations in those foundations and interactions from time to time c.1060-c.1266, and from place to place within the island.

Tea and coffee will be available, and you are welcome to bring your own lunch. All are welcome to attend.