The Buddha's Compassion and the Garden of Eden

The Buddha's Compassion and the Garden of Eden
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Dr. Donald M. Stadtner, former Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin

A major Buddhist pilgrimage site is a hilltop in Sri Lanka where the Buddha impressed his footprint, a symbol of the Buddha’s compassion for Sri Lankans who appealed for a tangible object of devotion. Christians and Muslims, however, believed that the footprint belonged to Adam and drew the conclusion that ancient Ceylon must have been the Garden of Eden. The famous Tree of Knowledge in Genesis 2:9 was therefore not an apple or fig tree, but a tropical banana plant, and the island’s first inhabitants were the world’s first Christians. Dr. Stadtner’s illustrated presentation traces the myths enveloping Adam’s Peak, revealing how different civilizations commingle and how "historical truth" evolves over time.

Advance tickets for members is now closed.
Additional tickets for members and the general public will be available for walk-up on the day of the lecture starting at 4:00 p.m.


Free with museum admission.
Doors open 30 minutes before program. Advance ticket-holders may check in at the Membership Desk between 12:00 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. to receive a sticker for their seat (seating is not assigned). Everyone must be seated no later than 4:50 p.m. Guests who are not in their seat by 4:50 p.m. may forfeit their ticket.