The Buddhist Caves of Yungang Lecture given by Professor Joy Lidu Yi, Florida International University

11:00AM-12:00PM Lecture
Yungang: a 5th-century rock-cut court cave complex, and UNESCO World Heritage
site, is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments of all time. Archaeological
excavations in recent years have shed significant new light on the functions of
different sections of the entire cave complex. For the first time, it is possible to
reconstruct where the monks lived, meditated, translated sacred literary texts, and
performed rituals, and to fully understand that freestanding monasteries above the
caves are an important component of the rock-cut cave complex.
This lecture asks why, when, and under what circumstances the Yungang cave
sanctuary was made, who played significant roles at various stages, and what was
the construction dating sequence. It then discusses the new archaeological
discoveries in and around Yungang, their significance and related issues in
reconstructing and fully understanding the important components of Yungang in
the 5th century.


About the speaker
Professor Yi is a historian of Chinese art and architecture specializing in Chinese
visual art and material culture. She is the author of Yungang: Art, History,
Archaeology and Liturgy. Her recent research interests focus on Buddhist rock-cut
cave-chapel art, architecture and archaeology. She is particularly interested in art,
architecture, archaeology and liturgy of Buddhist cave monasteries of medieval
China. Currently, she has two on-going research projects in China: one is the
examination of the rock-cut cave monasteries on the Silk Road, and the other
investigates the relatively unknown small cave monasteries in Shanxi Province. The
former is the subject of her current book manuscript project.

12:00PM-1:00PM Optional Tour of the Elling Eide Center