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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | If You Meet the Medical Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! Tibetan Buddhist Refusals of Brainhood and/as the Figure of Modernity

Matthew King, Director of Asian Studies, Professor of Transnational Buddhism, University of California, Riverside
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Attend in person or via Zoom. Zoom registration at

Buddhists in the last century have hardly been unanimous in seeing Dharmic models of body-mind as commensurable with those of science and biomedicine. Despite this, the intellectual rigor and analytical creativity of Buddhist rejections of materialist models of body-mind, empiricism, and scientism remain curiously understudied. This talk surveys the material logics of an extensive refusal of brainhood and the authority of the brain sciences staged by the Tibetan dialectician Lobsang Gyatso (Blo bzang rgya mtsho, 1928-1997).

Matthew King is Director of Asian Studies and Professor of Transnational Buddhism at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of many articles on Buddhist intellectual history along the Tibeto-Mongolian interface and on Tibetan Buddhist scholastic interpretations of the Qing Empire, state socialism, and humanism. His first book, "Ocean of Milk, Ocean of Blood: A Mongolian Monk in the Ruins of the Qing Empire" (Columbia University Press, 2019) won several awards including the American Academy of Religion Best Book Award in Textual Studies. His most recent book is entitled In the "Forest of the Blind: The Eurasian Journey of Faxian's Record of Buddhist Kingdoms" (Columbia University Press, 2022).
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Tibet
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures