All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

In Conversation: Framing the Word of the Buddha, with Donald Lopez

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.
In Tibetan Buddhism, books are the embodiment of the word of the Buddha, serving as his substitute after his passage into nirvana. They are therefore venerated and handled with the utmost respect. Elaborate book covers were commissioned to honor the Buddha, as well as to accrue good merit on the path to enlightenment. Protecting Wisdom features thirty-three book covers dating from the eleventh to the eighteenth century that represent the glorious iconographic array and non-figural decoration typical of these sacred items. Distinguished scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, Professor Donald Lopez will talk about the function, the meaning, and the artistry of these sacred objects that reflect an intense devotion to the Buddha and his teachings.

The program will begin in the Multipurpose Room.

Lead support for Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women's Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.