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The Tale of a Buddhist Monk and an Outcaste Girl in a Chinese Apocryphal Scripture.
The important Chinese Buddhist apocryphon "Scripture of the Heroic March" (Lengyan jing) famously begins with the nearly successful seduction of the Buddha's Cousin Ānanda by an outcaste prostitute with the aid of a magical spell. One of the most celebrated elements of the apocryphon "Scripture of the Heroic March" is another lengthy spell, this one spoken by the Buddha, which occupies nearly the whole of the seventh fascicle. What is the relationship between these aspects of the text? While the scripture maintains a consistent emphasis on the conversion of the impure into the pure, its attitudes towards sexuality and spellcraft are less clear cut.
In this lecture, Professor Benn will explore the twin themes of seduction and spellcraft in the scripture and focus on the figure of Ananda’s seductress, the Matangi girl.
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