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Inevitable Ends: An Anthropology of Impermanence

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Cameron David Warner - Lecturer

Among Buddhist practitioners worldwide, impermanence (Skt. anitya,Tib. mi rtag pa), is one of the earliest and most fundamental topics of meditation and is often enacted through ritual performance and has inspired innovative art. In the Tibetan tradition, one must accept the concept of impermanence to call oneself of a Buddhist, for it is an essential step if one endeavors to live a happier life. For Buddhists, all compounded phenomena, that is anything produced by a cause, is by nature impermanent or disintegrating for the moment it was first produced. Therefore, one’s death or the end of the world is then neither a source of terror or joy, but a step towards deeper more profound contemplations that reject apathy. In this presentation, I propose that we as a group use a series of examples drawn from the Buddhist world to meditate on the inevitability of impermanence, especially in relation to material forms, as well as preservation and the positive value of efforts to stave off the inevitable.
17 Aug 2017

Event (Conference)

LocationSandbjerg gods
Degree of recognitionInternational event


  • impermanence, materiality, buddhism, tibet, anthropology, artifacts, art, ritual



ID: 116514082