Expert on Buddhist Art and Indian Popular Culture to Give University of Virginia Art Museum’s Final Weedon Lecture

March 07, 2006

WHO:
Robert DeCaroli, assistant professor, department of art history, George Mason University

WHAT:
University of Virginia Art Museum’s Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture in the Arts of Asia: “Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism” A reception follows in the museum.

WHEN:
Friday, March 24, 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:
Campbell Hall, Room 160

March 7, 2006 — Robert DeCaroli, an expert on Buddhist art and Indian popular culture, will give the final lecture for the academic year in the University of Virginia Art Museum’s Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture series. His talk, “Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism,” will be on Friday, March 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, Room 160.

DeCaroli’s research focuses on early Buddhist art of South and Southeast Asia with particular interest in the influence of folk religion and spirit cults on the formation of early Buddhist art in India

Recent publications have centered on the Bhaja caves of western India and the relations between Indian popular (folk) religions and their impact on the origins of Buddhist material culture. His book, “Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism,” was praised for exploring new ground in the understanding of the complex relationship between Buddhist religion and pre-existing popular beliefs and the impact of local traditions on the formation of Buddhism and its art, according to one reviewer. 

DeCaroli earned a B.A in literature at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and an M.A. in the art history of India and Southeast Asia at UCLA. He teaches at George Mason University.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call the University of Virginia Art Museum at (434) 924-3592 or visit the Art Museum Web site.