Tea and Other Decoctions for “Nourishing Life” in Medieval China (Tue, 23 Oct 2012)


Add to Cal
  • Host Department: ccs
  • Date: 10/23/2012
  • Time: 12:00PM - 1:00PM

  • Location: Room 1636 School of Social Work Building

  • Description: Professor Benn will examine one significant way in which tea, a relatively new beverage in Tang-dynasty China, was first consumed and understood: alongside other decoctions intended to promote health and wellness. He will look at a range of materials including poetry, material medica, monastic regulations and polemical treatises in order to better appreciate medieval Chinese concepts of tea, its benefits, and it potential hazards.

    James A. Benn (PhD, UCLA 2001) is Associate Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. He studies Buddhism and Taoism in medieval China. To date, he has focused on three major areas of research: bodily practice in Chinese Religions; the ways in which people create and transmit new religious practices and doctrines; and the religious dimensions of commodity culture. He has published on self-immolation, spontaneous human combustion, Buddhist apocryphal scriptures, and tea and alcohol in medieval China. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007) and is currently completing a second book, Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History.

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan