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Asian Art and History

Zoroastrian and Manichaean Arts of the Silk Road

Rowe Center

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Gulasci - Image of the lecturer in a promotional photo
Feb 15, 10:30am
Rowe Center 10:30am
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Asian Art and History
Zoroastrian and Manichaean Arts of the Silk Road

Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning

Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, Asian Studies, and Comparative Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University

The Zoroastrian and Manichaean religions are both rooted in Iranian culture, but they had distinctly different histories. Zoroastrianism originates from the sixth century A.D. and has remained practiced by a variety of Iranian-speaking peoples until today. Manichaeism is an extinct missionary world religion that originated from Southern Mesopotamia during the third century A.D. and exited in phases across the Mediterranean region, West and Central Asia, as well as China until the early 17th century. This lecture focuses on Zoroastrian and Manichaean images of the afterlife portrayed on stone sarcophagi and painted banners. It explores the visual culture of death rituals during medieval times documented among Sogdian and Uygur communities living in their Central Asian homelands and, as foreigners, in the capital cities of China during the Northern Zhou (557-581 A.D.) and Tang (618-907 A.D.) dynasties.

This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History series.

Lecture in John and Jeanne Rowe Performance and Learning Center, lunch in Signature Event Space.

Artwork pictured: Chinese Manichaean silk painting depicting a sermon on Mani’s teaching on salvation from Ningpo, S. Song dynasty, 12th -13th cc. A.D. (Yamato Bunkakan, Nara, Japan).

A professionally administered negative COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR test, along with a valid matching photo ID, is required for all visitors 12 and older. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, voluntary proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, along with a valid matching photo ID, may be presented. Masks are encouraged, and they are required for children between the ages of 2 and 11 unless a negative COVID-19 test or voluntary proof of being fully vaccinated (for children ages 5-11 eligible for vaccination) is presented on their behalf. Certain artists and ensembles may require masks. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Protocols.

Zsuzsanna Gulácsi

Zsuzsanna Gulácsi

Dr. Gulacsi a historian of Asian art history specializing in the contextualized study of pan-Asiatic religions that spread throughout the Asian continent. She is the author of three books on Manichaean art (Brill 015, Brill 2005, Brepols 2001), the editor of a book on Language, Society, and Religion in the World of the Turks (Brepols, 2018); and have written dozens of articles on Manichaean, Eastern Christian, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, and Islamic art. Dr. Gulacsi’s research has been supported by multiple residencies at the National Humanities Center; grants by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Scholarship, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and most recently by the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2016-2017) and a Residential Scholar Grant at the Getty Villa (2019).


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