Anthony Cerulli, assistant professor of religious studies, recently participated in the “Asian Diversity in a Global Context” conference at the University of Copenhagen. Cerulli presented a lecture, “An allegorical trope on action and wellbeing.” The conference sought to generate deeper and fuller insights into the political, social, cultural and economic changes facing Asia in the 21st century.
The program opened with keynote speeches and continued with parallel panels and workshops under the common theme of the dynamics of diversity in Asia.
Cerulli was invited to give a talk on a panel called “The Transmission of Sanskrit Medical Literature,” which addressed the study of the transmission of medical knowledge in India. His presentation was about an early-18th century South Indian Sanskrit allegory, the Jivanandanam (“The Joy of Life”). The play was composed for live performance at a Shiva temple festival, using entertainment to educate people about epidemiological issues. Cerulli discussed the history of allegory in Sanskrit literature, and presented selections of his translation of the play to show how the author designed two characters to illustrate the importance of balancing engagement in and withdrawal from the rigmarole of social life to the maintenance of physical health and wellbeing.
While in Copenhagen, on the day before his talk, Cerulli was invited to participate as a faculty member in a master class on reading and translating Sanskrit medical texts for University of Copenhagen students who are currently studying Sanskrit at the university.
Joining HWS in 2008, Cerulli received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, his M.A. from Yale University and his B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago. During a Fulbright Fellowship in 2004-05, he studied in India and England.