A Buddhist Preacher on Gambling

27.01.2023 15:15 - 16:45

Péter-Dániel Szántó | Department of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, ELTE, Budapest

The talk will focus on a chapter of the *Saddharmaparikathā (anonymous, ca. 5th c. CE), a Buddhist homileticians' guidebook containing sample sermons, dealing with the topic of gambling (dyūta). I will first introduce the work writ large, then present a short overview of gambling in Sanskrit literature, and then discuss the contents of the chapter, its argumentation, and its rhetorical style in detail. Our anonymous author is dismissive of gambling in all its forms, whether it is practised for material gain, for mere pleasure, and even if studied as an art. In spite of its shortness, his discussion of the topic is, as far as we are aware, the most comprehensive in classical Buddhist literature.

Péter-Dániel Szántó started his studies at ELTE, Budapest. He wrote and defended his doctoral thesis on a little-known Buddhist tantra at Oxford University. Having held several post-doctoral positions (2010–2013 Merton, 2013–2014 Hamburg, 2014–2019 All Souls, 2019–2022 Leiden), he is currently associate professor at the Department of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at ELTE, Budapest.

Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Seminarraum 1 des ISTB, Universitätscampus, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien