CONFERENCE> Reading Mahāyāna Scripture

Nelson Landry's picture

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the two-day conference titled READING MAHĀYĀNA SCRIPTURE hosted both virtually and in-person by the University of Oxford on September 25 - 26th 2021 at 9:00 BST / 4:00 EST / 1:00 PST / 16:00 Beijing. The conference will go on throughout both days, ending at 18:00 BST. Please join us in welcoming our keynote speaker Professor Paul Harrison (Stanford University), with the topic: ‘Mahāyāna Sūtras: Reading As, Reading For, Reading Into’. For a list of the many great speakers and scholars who will be presenting at this two-day conference, please refer to the programme below. This conference is generously supported by the Glorisun Foundation and organised at Oxford by Dr. Matthew Orsborne.

Please visit the conference’s webpage to learn more:

The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. 

Please register here:


Sept 25, 2021 (Time: BST)

09:15-09:45— Ulrike Roesler— ‘The Mahāyāna Scriptures in Tibet: recitation, veneration, and use’

10:00-10:30— Rafal K. Stepien— ‘On Numen in Antinomianism, or Reading Religion in Irreligion’

11:00-11:30— D.E. Osto— ‘Virtual Realities: A Mahāyāna Interpretation based on The Supreme Array Scripture

11:45-12:15—Nic Newton— ‘Description, Visualisation, and Concatenation in the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra

13:30-14:00—Reed Criddle— ‘Collective oral tradition in the musical recitation of the Medicine Buddha Sūtra

14:15-14:45— David Drewes— ‘How Many Mahāyānas Were There?’

15:15-15:45— Natasha Heller— ‘Picturing the Heart Sūtra

16:00-16:30— Stephanie Balkwill— ‘Reading the Sūtra of the Unsullied Worthy Girl

16:45-17:45— Paul Harrison— ‘Mahāyāna Sūtras: Reading As, Reading For, Reading Into’

Sept 26, 2021 (Time: BST)

09:15-09:45— Charles DiSimone— ‘Identical Cousins? Insights on the Parallel Development of Prajnāpāramitā Families Gleaned from New Manuscript Discoveries in Greater Gandhāra’

10:00-10:30— Gregory Adam Scott— ‘Reading Mahāyāna Scriptures in Modern China: The Role of Scriptural Presses, Distributors, and Buddhist Bookstores’

11:00-11:30— Yixiu Jiang— ‘Resolving Inconsistency? Understanding Inconsistency’

11:45-12:15— Berthe Jansen— ‘The Role of Indic Mahāyāna Scriptures in Tibetan Legal Texts’

13:30-14:00— Thomas Newhall— ‘Partially in Accord with the Greater Vehicle: Reading the Four-Part Vinaya as a Mahāyāna text in Daoxuan's Commentaries’

14:15-14:45— Rachel Pang— ‘Shabkar’s (1781-1851) usage of the Mahāyāna Sūtras in his Emanated Scripture of Compassion

15:15-15:45— Mikael Bauer— ‘Tracing the exoteric-esoteric in premodern Japanese Dharma Assemblies’

16:00-16:30— Daniel Boucher— ‘Orality, Literacy, and the Cult of the Book Revisited’

16:45-17:45— Roundtable