We on the BuddhistRoad team (https://buddhistroad.ceres.rub.de/en/) are happy to be offering another hybrid guest lecture, both on site in the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) Bochum and live worldwide via Zoom online.
The guest lecture will be presented by Charles DiSimone of Ghent University, on the 24th of June 2021 at 14:00–16:00 Central European Summer Time (UTC+2). Charles DiSimone’s talk is titled:
Reading Too Closely: Observations on Manuscript Copying and Production in Gilgit and Greater Gandhāra
The three-hundred-year period spanning the 6–8th centuries of the Common Era was a time of Buddhist predominance throughout the area known as Greater Gandhāra encompassing modern Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan and Northern India. A testimony to the strong Buddhist influence in this period may be seen in the numerous manuscript materials from this time and area that have been uncovered throughout the last century, and which are still appearing into the present. These manuscripts were copied in two distinct scripts, Gilgit/Bamiyan Type I (sometimes referred to as Round Gupta Brāhmī) and Gilgit/Bamiyan Type II (also known as Protośāradā) and may be referred to collectively as ‘Gilgit/Bamiyan Type Manuscripts’. They were produced on birch bark folios with carbon-based ink by an unclear number of what appear to have been professional scriptoria located variously around Greater Gandhāra, and the manuscripts were then collected into caches. The content of the manuscripts comprise Buddhist works of both Mahāyāna (predominantly sūtras) and Mainstream (predominantly āgama, vinaya, and avadāna) views. Taking examples from a number of collections of these Gilgit/Bamiyan Type Manuscripts, in this talk I will present observations on the methods and techniques employed by scribes in the copying of these manuscripts, the production of the birch bark folios that made up the material support of the manuscripts, and the spread of these manuscripts both within Greater Gandhāra and beyond.
Charles DiSimone is an FWO Postdoctoral Researcher at Ghent University. He received his doctorate from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and has held positions at the Buddhist Digital Resource Center, LMU Munich, and Mahidol University. His research primarily focuses upon the applications of philological, codicological, and critical analysis of Buddhist sūtra manuscripts and literature, both Mahāyāna and Mainstream. Recent publications include research on scribal practices in the Gilgit area and Greater Gandhāra and a forthcoming book on the (Mūla-)Sarvāstivāda Dīrghāgama manuscript (Wisdom 2021).
To join the lecture, please register here https://ruhr-uni-bochum.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50scOCsqj0oHdDwnvS2QIcfq43o-frSFNIT by the 23rd of June.
Other forthcoming BuddhistRoad talks are detailed at https://buddhistroad.ceres.rub.de/en/events/, and the next one is:
Yi (Allan) Ding, "Reconciling the Irreconcilable? Revisiting the Dunwu dasheng zhengli jue 頓悟大乘正理决 [The Judgement on Sudden Awakening Being the True Principle of Mahāyāna] and the Samyé Debate in the 8th Century," 22 July 2021, 2–4pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
Since Paul Demiéville published his study on the Dunwu dasheng zhengli jue 頓悟大乘正理决 [The Judgement on Sudden Awakening Being the True Principle of Mahāyāna] in Le concile de Lhasa in 1952, many scholars have contributed to the discussion about related issues by closely studying relevant Tibetan materials, which include PT 823/1, PT 827/2, PT 116, bSam gtan mig sgron [The Eye-Lamp for Meditation], Cig car ’jug pa rnam par mi rtog pa’i bsgom don [The Meaning of the Sudden Entry into Non-Conceptual Meditation], dBa’ bzhed [The Testament of Wa], etc. This presentation demonstrates that the Tibetan materials have enabled us to reevaluate the composite nature of the Judgement and to extrapolate a ‘debate’ process underneath the seemingly disorderly questions and answers. For instance, a large portion of the Judgement should be understood as Chinese translations of original Tibetan queries; owing to the existence of translation procedures, miscommunication between Kamalaśīla (ca. 740–795) and Moheyan (fl. 786–794, 摩訶衍) did at times happen. A more nuanced understanding of the Judgement also makes it possible to reconcile the narrative in the Judgement with some of the elements in the now well-studied dBa’ bzhed.
We look forward to seeing you there!