August 26, 5:30 pm
by Diana McDonald, Ph.D., Boston College & Rebecca Black, MIT
Location: Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center
7521 Carmel Ave NE Wyoming & Carmel, N of Paseo
The legendary temple of Borobudur, on a sacred plane on the island of Java, is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and a marvel of narrative stone sculpture. Dr. McDonald, who lived on Java, will recount the cosmological significance of Borobudur, which was a walking pilgrimage site for centuries, attracting those seeking enlightenment. Narrative panels depict scenes of Javanese life, stories about Karmic law, and the life of Buddha, while the statues of Buddha at the top represent some of the finest Javaneselptures.
Five centuries after Borobudur was completed, a Khmer king built Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world by land area, in what is today Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temple, devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu, was built to symbolize Mount Mehru, home of celestial beings in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, with five top sanctuaries and surrounding moats representing the cosmic oceans. Rebecca Black, former Senior Foreign Officer with USAID, who served in Cambodia, visited Angkor Wat a dozen times as well as other significant temples around the country, will use current photos of Angkor Wat and surrounding monuments to discuss architectural details and history.