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The Savage Maiden’s Baby: Traces of a Buddhist Rainmaking Cult in Medieval Đại Việt

Wed. April 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch will be available at 12. Talk will begin at 12:15.

The Vietnamese Buddhist rainmaking cult of the Four Dharma Buddhas is said to date to the late 2nd century CE. It is also said to have been rooted at the oldest Buddhist site in Vietnam, the Mulberry Temple (Chùa Dâu) in the former ancient city of Luy Lâu. The accepted antiquity of the cult of the Four Dharma Buddhas, however, has never been questioned. This presentation situates the available textual and epigraphic sources in their historical contexts and argues that the story of the medieval invention of the cult of the Four Dharma Buddhas is much more complicated, and interesting, than the story told in its hagiography.

Dr. Cuong Mai is Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University. He specializes in the religions of Asia, particularly the history of Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism. His research focuses on the emergence of mortuary practices and paradise beliefs surrounding the Buddha figures Amitabha and Maitreya in early medieval China. He completed his undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at Columbia University, an MA at the University of Hawaii, and the Ph.D. degree in Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He previously taught at the University of Vermont in the Department of Religion.

Please register here for lunch.


Wed. April 17
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003
Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map


Carolina Asia Center
View Organizer Website

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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