Prof. Shi Zhiru on Chinese Buddhism, Vancouver, Oct 20

UBC’s Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society is pleased to welcome Professor Shi Zhiru (Pomona College).  Her lecture entitled, “For Whom The Bell Tolls: Bells, Hells, and Venerating Dizang in China” will take place at:

  • UBC Robson Square | Room C100 | 800 Robson Street
  • Monday, OCTOBER 20, 2014 | 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Lectures are free and open to the public. Please register at our Constant Contact Event page. 5 minutes prior to start, any extra seating will be made available.

Shi Zhiru posterclip 1

Professor Shi Zhiru is part of this year’s Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at UBC. This year’s speaker series will focus on Chinese Buddhism to connect with the theme of the upcoming Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, sponsored by The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation. From October 18, 2014 to January 11, 2015, the VAG will exhibit nearly 200 treasured objects from the collections of Beijing’s Palace Museum.

bellThe Great Bell Temple of Beijing is a now a historical museum of Chinese bells, housing a vast collection of bells including a number of Buddhist bells. What significance do bells have in Chinese Buddhist history? Examining textual and art historical sources, Shi Zhiru will elucidate how pre-modern Chinese Buddhists linked Dizang Bodhisattva, the afterlife deity in Chinese religion, to bell practices, producing a new pattern of image veneration.  Shortly after the tenth century, this association helped to shape iconography and even monastic architecture. The study thus reiterates how religious change seamlessly encompasses different aspects of religious life and culture, unfolding across text and doctrine, as well as ritual artifact, art, and architecture.

A PDF Poster may be downloaded here: Shi Zhiru Poster.


Born in Singapore, Shi Zhiru is an ordained Chinese Buddhist nun in the lineage of the great scholar-monk Master Yinshun. Shi Zhiru received her M.A. degree from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Arizona. She is currently professor of Religous Studies at Pomona College in Southern California. She is the author of The Making of a Savior Bodhisattva: Dizang in Medieval China, Kuroda Institute Studies in East Asian Buddhism no. 21 (2007), and has also published on modern Chinese Buddhism and Taiwanese Buddhism. She is currently working on two research directions: Buddhist women and architecture in contemporary Taiwan, and Buddhism in tenth-century Hangzhou. A scholar-practitioner, she was named one of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism in Bangkok 2010.

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