NEW BOOKS> Hamburg Buddhist Studies Series, Volumes 7 – 10

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Hamburg Buddhist Studies Series, Volumes 7 – 10

Series Editors: Steffen Döll & Michael Zimmermann


Volume 7

The Eighth Karmapa’s Life and his Interpretation of the Great Seal Path – A Religious Life and Instructional Texts in Historical and Doctrinal Contexts
by Jim Rheingans

projektverlag, Bochum/Freiburg 2017
Hardcover, 243 pages, € 25.80

ISSN 2190-6769
ISBN 978-3-89733-422-9

This book investigates Mikyö Dorje’s biographies and carries out case studies of some of his mahāmudrā (Great Seal) teachings, Buddhist instructions for the acquisition of meditative insight. After surveying a variety of textual sources for the study of the Karmapa’s life and works, this book shows how he developed into one of the most productive scholars of his tradition, who, located within the shifting religious and political hegemonies of his time, managed to acquire a status of singular importance to his school. Rheingans then goes on to analyse Mikyö Dorje’s mahāmudrā teachings by examining selected texts that contain such instructions in historical and doctrinal context. This study contends that the Kagyüpa mahāmudrā constitutes less a static system than an independent key instruction to be adapted by the guru to different students’ requirements and are thus chiefly characterised by didactic pragmatism.


Volume 8

Buddhapada and the Bodhisattva Path
by Anālayo

projektverlag, Bochum/Freiburg 2017
Hardcover, 180 pages, € 18.80

ISSN 2190-6769
ISBN 978-3-89733-415-1

Building on his ground-breaking The Genesis of the Bodhisattva Ideal, with the present monograph Bhikkhu Anālayo approaches a closely related topic from the perspective of the bodily dimension as evident in the thirty-two marks with which, according to tradition, the Buddha was endowed. The study begins by proposing that a cross-fertilization between text and art has influenced the conception of one of these marks, namely the wheel-marks on the soles of the Buddha’s feet. By way of a comparative study of the early discourses, Anālayo proceeds to show how the thirty-two marks – initially nearly imperceptible features – came to be more clearly visible and acquired salvific power. Eventually, he argues, these turned into a psychosomatic chart for the bodhisattva path and thereby set a precedent for the prediction (commonplace in later Buddhist doctrine) that assures an aspiring bodhisattva of becoming a Buddha in the future.


Volume 9

Rules of Engagement: Medieval Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Regulation,
edited by Susan Andrews / Jinhua Chen / Cuilan Liu

projektverlag, Bochum/Freiburg 2017
Hardcover, 522 pages, € 26.60

ISSN 2190-6769
ISBN 978-3-89733-428-1

Recent years have seen heightened interest in the ritual, juridical, and generally practical aspects of the Buddhist tradition. The contributions to Rules of Engagement build on this trend while venturing beyond the established boundaries of discourse in specialized academic disciplines, presenting state-of-the-art research on the vinaya in all of its breadth and depth. They do so not only by tracing Buddhist textual traditions but also by showcasing the vast variety of practices that are the object of such regulations and throw a new light on the social implications such protocols have had in South, Central, and East Asia. 


Volume 10

Communities of Memory and Interpretation – Reimagining and Reinventing the Past in East Asian Buddhism,
edited by Mario Poceski

projektverlag, Bochum/Freiburg 2018
Hardcover, 217 pages, € 25.80

ISSN 2190-6769
ISBN 978-3-89733-425-0

The five studies in this volume show unprecedented efforts by each individual contributor to engage in micro-historical research on categories and themes such as lineage, hagiography, and sacred texts in different historical contexts.
(Jiang Wu, University of Arizona)

Communities of Memory and Interpretation is a fascinating collection of wellresearched essays that all feature important methodological reflections in addition to detailed and insightful textual analysis or fieldwork scholarship. The volume consistently highlights the theme of how the respective traditions developed a sense of legitimacy and legacy based on canonicity and the various repetitions and reversals of at times disturbing or perplexing paradigms and exegetical strategies to establish and maintain lineal identity and authority.
(Steven Heine, Florida International University)​

For more information:


Michael Zimmermann, Numata Center for Buddhist Studies, Universität Hamburg, Germany,,