Winter 2019


Beauty and Belief:

Art and Philosophy in Eastern Cultures

'Beauty and Belief' is an exploration of the connections between art and spirituality in South and East Asia, mainly within Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It investigates the creation and symbolism of religious art and its use in community and private practice. Along the way, the series explores a variety of art forms including ritual objects, paintings, sacred space, poetry, and other media, uncovering the intriguing links between art, ritual, philosophy, and spirituality. 

January 8      Origins of Hindu and Buddhist traditions

This talk explores the early origins of Hindu and Buddhist arts beginning with archaeological records going back nearly five thousand years. It presents early evidence for the origins of yoga and meditation and the fascinating philosophical developments that led to Hinduism and Buddhism as we know them today.

January 15     The Image of the Divine

The cultures of South and East Asia have a long history of acceptance of religious images. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have fascinating perspectives on visual arts and religious iconography. This talk explores the ways in which early Indian philosophy and spirituality has created and is related to a rich variety of visual arts.

January 22      Story, Art, and Script in Sacred Texts

There are many fascinating and well-loved stories and texts in the traditions of South and East Asia. This talk explores the art of storytelling, along with the ways in which texts themselves become beautiful and beloved art forms and ritual objects in Hinduism and Buddhism. 

January 29      Sacred Space in Architecture and Nature


All traditions have places that they hold sacred, whether they are natural or constructed by human hands. These are special places in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, including South and East Asian temples, cave arts, architecture, and pilgrimage sites. We explore these special spaces and the philosophies and practices that influence them.

February 5      Zen Art and Practice


Zen is a sect or denomination within Buddhism which has its own fascinating history and philosophy. It also has a wide range of captivating art forms which embody both belief and practice. This talk explores a number of Zen art forms, including poetry, ink brush painting, and the rock garden.

February 12      Modernity, Media, and Popular Culture


Eastern philosophy and spirituality have been changing for thousands of years. This talk examines the fascinating ways such changes are expressed through modern media and popular culture including films, visual arts, and virtual arts. It also explores the influences of Eastern wisdom on North American culture. 

Patricia Campbell, PhD

Patricia Campbell earned her PhD from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2009. She is an author and part-time university instructor who teaches in the areas of Eastern religions, religious diversity, and ritual studies. She has taught courses at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, Mount Allison University, and Georgian College. This lecture series, Beauty and Belief, is based on a course she first developed and taught at Mt. Allison in 2011. She also leads workshops and seminars on business and academic communication and organizational skills.