In Search of Chinese Identity: China’s Hermit Tradition: The Importance of Solitude | China Institute

Categories: Conference
by Jenna Ludwig on May 24th, 2018   130 views

When and Where

  • 24/05/2018
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

  • Downtown Office
    40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor
    New York City
    New York
    United States
    (get map)

In Search of Chinese Identity: China’s Hermit Tradition: The Importance of Solitude | China Institute

Event Details

Bill Porter, aka Red Pine, on the hermits of yesterday and today

Bill Porter knows more about the hermit tradition in China – and Buddhism, Tang and Song poetry, and the Chinese language—than just about any other living westerner. After spending three years in a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan in the 1970s, he has spent a lifetime studying and translating Chinese religious and philosophical texts. An anthropologist by training, Porter traveled deep into the Zhongnan Mountains in the late 1980s, discovering that the hermit tradition is very much alive in China today.

On May 24, China Institute is honored to welcome Porter to help us search for China’s soul with a lecture and conversation about “China’s Hermit Tradition: The Importance of Solitude,” in conjunction with our current exhibition, Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens.

The search for solitude has been at the core of Chinese civilization ever since it began 5,000 years ago. Spending time alone, usually in the mountains, has been an essential part of all three major spiritual traditions in China—Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism—and it continues to be so today. In this unique event, Porter will share slides from his personal collection and talk about religion in China today and the tradition that has played such an important part in Chinese culture and in the teachings of Laozi, Confucius, and Bodhidharma.

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