Arts of Asia Spring 2020 - Visions of the Afterlife in Asia

Arts of Asia Lecture Series
Left: Snuff bottle with a scene of Demon Queller Zhong Kui expelling evil ghosts, approx. 1800–1900. China; Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration. Asian Art Museum, Gift of Richard P. Arens, 2010

Arts of Asia Spring 2020 - Visions of the Afterlife in Asia

Sanjyot Mehendale
Repeats every week every Friday until Fri Mar 06 2020.
January 24, 2020
Fridays, January 24 to May 1, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (No lecture on March 27)
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
$175 Society members; $200 non-members for the series (after museum admission) $20 per lecture drop in, subject to availability (after museum admission)

Videos of the first seven lectures are now available on the Asian Art Museum's YouTube channel. Click here to view the available videos from this lecture series.

In accordance with the directives of the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Society for Asian Art has cancelled all remaining lectures, from March 13 through May 1, 2020. Thank you for your understanding.

After our popular fall 2019 lecture series on the lesser-known religions of Asia, we expand our scope to explore beliefs about the afterlife and divine justice across Asia and view how different communities and religious traditions observe the passage of life to afterlife. 

Please join us on a journey that will start with some of the earliest known traditions of Mesopotamia, the Abrahamic traditions, study ancestor worship in China, examine ideas about reincarnation across Asia, look at heavens and hells on the Silk Road, examine the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and follow the Night Journey of the prophet Muhammad. Distinguished scholars will address beliefs and practices from the Ancient Near East to Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Far East. The variety of beliefs is as broad as human imagination. Come hear about ghosts and spiritual beings from different traditions as well as burial customs of the Chinese diaspora during the 19th and 20th centuries.

January 24
Dying While Living and Living While Dead: Themes Across Asian Afterlife Beliefs Study Guide
Christopher Moreman, CSU East Bay

January 31
The Descent of Ishtar and the Epic of Gilgamesh: Afterlife in Early Mesopotamian Traditions Study Guide
Niek Veldhuis, UC Berkeley

February 7
The Arts of Death and the Afterlife in South Asian Traditions Study Guide
Melia Belli Bose, University of Victoria

February 14
Visions of the Afterlife in the Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls Study Guide
Ronald Hendel, UC Berkeley

February 21
Gods, Ghosts, and Felicitous Writing: Visions of the Afterlife in Ancient China Study Guide
Jun Hu, UC Berkeley

February 28
The Road to Hell: Buddhist Visions of Naraka at Qizil Study Guide
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley

March 6
Korean Traditions of the Afterlife: What the Undead Tell Us of the Korean Worldview Study Guide
Michael Pettid, SUNY Binghamton

Pure Land, Hell or Extinction? Buddhist Visions of the Hereafter on the Silk Road Study Guide
Michelle McCoy, University of Pittsburgh

Navigating the Afterlife Through the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Jacob Dalton, UC Berkeley

Beyond Life as We Know It: The Wondrous and the Monstrous in Japanese Notions of the Afterlife
Mark Blum, UC Berkeley

Afterlives and Afterworlds in the Islamic Garden Study Guide
Nerina Rustomji, St. John’s University

On Corpses, Ghosts, and Amulets in the Funerary Culture of Thai Buddhism
Justin McDaniel, University of Pennsylvania

Traveling Between Worlds: The Afterlife of Art and Ritual in Indonesia
Kaja Maria McGowan, Cornell University

If You Are Remembered, You Still Exist: The Bone Repatriation of Chinese Immigrants
Summer Mei Ling Lee, Artist

Registration Policies

The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.

For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.

Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.