Additional events around the Symposium

You are all warmly invited to join two additional events taking place on the days before and after this year’s symposium.

On Thursday 23rd April, Prof Maria Heim will give the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies Khyentse lecture on ‘Happiness, Pleasure, and Bliss in Early Buddhism and the Upanishads’, 4-5.30pm in the Martin Hall, New College.

On Monday 27th April, Prof Oliver Freiberger will be involved in a roundtable discussion on his new book Considering Comparison: A Method for Religious Studies (OUP, 2019), with colleagues from the School of Divinity, Edinburgh, 11-12.30 in the Martin Hall, New College.

If you would like to extend your stay in Edinburgh for this or any other reason, you can book additional nights in the symposium hotel by contacting them directly:

Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

18-21 Market Street
EH1 1BL Edinburgh
+44/131/220 073-0
res.edinburgh-royal@motel-one.com
www.motel-one.com

If you have already booked a residential place at the symposium, please tell the hotel that you are staying as part of the group booking by Naomi Appleton, University of Edinburgh. They will charge you direct for any additional nights. You can also arrange additional guests (switching to double or twin occupancy) through the same method.

Booking for 2020 Symposium now open

We are now taking bookings for the 2020 Symposium. Please follow this link to the University of Edinburgh e-pay system to register. Details you provide there will be used only for administering this event (including providing guest names to the hotel) and will not be passed to any other third parties. The full programme for the event is here.

Please note: We regret that we are unable to issue a visa invitation letter unless you are a speaker at this event.

As always there are two registration rates:

Non-residential £80

This includes full attendance at the Symposium, with lunches on Saturday and Sunday, dinners Friday and Saturday, and tea/coffee during the event.

Residential £250

This includes full Symposium attendance, lunches Saturday and Sunday, dinners Friday and Saturday, tea/coffee during the event, and two nights en-suite bed and breakfast at Motel One Edinburgh-Royal (a short walk from the Symposium venue New College).

Hotel places are limited so do book early to avoid disappointment. 

Cheaper accommodation options are available in the city, so you can book the non-residential rate and make your own arrangements, but be aware that Edinburgh accommodation sells out fast.

Please note that there are no concession rates. We do have a small number of free non-residential places available for UK postgraduate students and early career scholars who would not otherwise be able to attend. Please contact naomi.appleton@ed.ac.uk if you are interested, with a short statement of your research interests, current status, and why you particularly wish to attend the event.

Provisional Programme for 2020 Symposium

I am pleased to announce the draft programme for the 2020 Spalding Symposium. Booking will open shortly.

Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions

24th – 26th April 2020, University of Edinburgh

Provisional Programme:

Friday 24th April

1.45pm   Introduction and welcome

2.00-3.00pm   Opening keynote: Oliver Freiberger (University of Texas at Austin) – “Comparing Religion Within and Beyond South Asia”

3.00-3.30pm   Tea and coffee

3.30-4.30pm   Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette (Ghent University) – ‘The Spiritual Exercise of Comparing Doctrines: A Performative Function of Indian Doxographies’

4.45-6.15pm   Postgraduate Papers

Alex Owens (Lancaster University) – ‘The Greening of the Net: A exploration into the sensitive redeployment of Indra’s Net today within the field of environmentalism’

Manu Ato-Carrera (SOAS) – ‘Engaged Buddhism Across the Three Yānas:A Comparative Approach to a Developing Social Philosophy’

Ranjamrittika Bhowmik (University of Oxford) – ‘Mystical Utterances of Sahaja: The Soul-Body Amalgam in Caryāgīti, Tukkhā and Bāul-Fakir Songs of Bengal’

6.15pm Dinner

 

Saturday 25th April

9.00-10.00am   Maria Heim (Amherst College) – ‘Emptiness: Comparing Buddhaghosa and Śāntideva’

10.00-10.30am   Tea and coffee

10.30-11.30am   Stuart Sarbacker (Oregon State University) – ‘Pātañjala Yoga and Buddhist Abhidharma on Extraordinary Perfections and Accomplishments: A Comparison of Pātañjalayogaśāstra 4.1 and Abhidharmakośa 7.53 on the sources of Siddhi and Ṛddhi’

11.30am-12.30pm   Deepak Sarma (Case Western Reserve University) – ‘Comparison as means of colonization, comparison as strategy to controvert: Madhva Vedanta and Christianity’

12.30-1.30pm   Lunch

1.30-2.30pm   Christopher Austin (Dalhousie University) – ‘Comparing Double Victories and Double Felicities: A Pervasive System of Meaning in Indian Religion and Literature’

2.30-3.30pm   Postgraduate Papers

Krishnan Ram-Prasad (University of Cambridge) – ‘The Epic Cinematic Universe: Intertextual characters as a locus of comparison between Sanskrit and Ancient Greek literature’

Preeti Gulati (Jawaharlal Nehru University) – ‘The Royal Hospitality: A Comparative Study of Kingship in Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa and the Jātakas’

3.30-4.00pm   Tea and coffee

4.00-5.00pm   Mikel Burley (University of Leeds) – ‘‘All is ambivalence’: faith and struggle in the poetry of Rāmprasād Sen and R. S. Thomas’

5.15-6.15pm   Keynote: Jacqueline Suthren Hirst (University of Manchester) ‘A Life of Comparisons’

6.15pm Dinner

 

Sunday 26th April

9.00-10.00am   Michael Williams (Austrian Academy of Sciences) – ‘Hindu Theodicies in Comparison: Vyāsatīrtha, John Calvin and the Problem of Suffering’

10.00-11.00am   Jonathan Geen (King’s University College, CA) – ‘Comparing for Chronology: Hindu and Jain Narratives of Kidnappings and Rescues’

11.00-11.30am   Tea and coffee

11.30am-12.30pm   Karen O’Brien-Kop (University of Roehampton) – ‘Proximal reading: Intertextuality, discourse analysis, and synchronic approaches to classical texts on yoga’

12.30-1.00pm Closing remarks

1.00-2.00pm   Lunch and then departure

Karel Werner 1925-2019

Karel Werner, the founder of the Spalding Symposium, passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Tuesday last week (26th November). His funeral service, for those who wish to attend, will be held, according to Buddhist rites, on Monday December 9th at 2 p.m. at the New Southgate Crematorium, Brunswick Park Road, London N11 1JJ.

Karel Werner founded this symposium in 1975, and convened it for many years before passing it into the hands of others; he returned for a special symposium in 2010 in honour of his 85th birthday. Many will remember his scholarship and collegiality, and we are all grateful that he made the effort to set up an event that remains a valued place for scholars to gather and share their work.

Call for papers: 2020 Symposium

We invite proposals for papers for the 45th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, which will be held at the University of Edinburgh, on 24th-26th April 2020. The theme this year is “Comparison(s)”. Our purview includes both religions of South Asian origin wherever in the world they are being practised, and those of non South Asian origin present within South Asia. We welcome papers based upon all research methods, including textual, historical, ethnographic, sociological and philosophical.

Presenters are allocated forty minutes for their paper and twenty minutes for discussion, and will normally be expected to pay their own conference registration and expenses. The Symposium fee, including food and accommodation, will be in the region of £245, with a non-residential rate of around £85. Registration details will be released in the new year. Limited financial assistance may be available for early career scholars or scholars from South Asia. If your participation depends upon such support please indicate this when you submit your abstract.

We also welcome proposals from doctoral students, who will be allocated twenty minutes for their paper and ten minutes for discussion, and offered free registration at the Symposium. PG papers need not address the symposium theme, though it is an advantage if they do so.

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers: Dr Jacqueline Suthren Hirst, who recently retired from Manchester University, will speak on “A Life of Comparisons”, and Prof. Oliver Freiberger of the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on “Comparing Religion Within and Beyond South Asia”.

If you would like to give a presentation, please send a title and abstract (maximum 500 words) to Dr Brian Black, b.black@lancaster.ac.uk, by the end of November 2019.