Get Buddhist Manuscript Cultures: Knowledge, Ritual, and Art PDF

By Stephen C. Berkwitz, Juliane Schober, Claudia Brown

ISBN-10: 0203929594

ISBN-13: 9780203929599

Buddhist Manuscript Cultures explores how non secular and cultural practices in premodern Asia have been formed by way of literary and creative traditions in addition to via Buddhist fabric tradition. This research of Buddhist texts specializes in the importance in their fabric varieties instead of their doctrinal contents, and examines how and why they have been made.

Collectively, the e-book bargains cross-cultural and comparative insights into the transmission of Buddhist wisdom and using texts and pictures as ritual items within the creative and aesthetic traditions of Buddhist cultures. Drawing on case reports from India, Gandhara, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mongolia, China and Nepal, the chapters integrated examine the variety of pursuits and values linked to generating and utilizing written texts, and the jobs manuscripts and photographs play within the transmission of Buddhist texts and in fostering devotion between Buddhist groups.

Contributions are through reputed students in Buddhist reports and characterize assorted disciplinary ways from non secular stories, paintings historical past, anthropology, and historical past. This publication can be of curiosity to students and scholars operating in those fields.

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Additional info for Buddhist Manuscript Cultures: Knowledge, Ritual, and Art

Example text

But what is remarkable here is that, in view of the condition of the scrolls and the inclusion of an index to them, the Senior scrolls were apparently written out for the express purpose of being interred in a st¯upa or other funerary monument. This, it would seem, puts them in a very different category from the British Library manuscripts; the ramifications of this contrast will be discussed below. Why did the Gandh¯aran Buddhists bury their manuscripts? 27 We know of at least one other clear case in which a Gandh¯aran scroll was interred while still intact, or even possibly brand new.

To him, Lachmann’s emphasis on tracking common errors to reconstruct the original text led an illusory reproduction of a text that never existed (Cerquiglini 1999: 49, 71). Although preferable to Lachmann’s in Cerquiglini’s eyes, Bédier’s approach provided no picture of the inherent variance of medieval writing and reduced texts to the stable, closed works of modernity (Cerquiglini 1999: 70–1). Cerquiglini’s critique has produced its own share of detractors. Some argue that a single manuscript work—the form of the text that most scribes and readers encountered—could hardly exhibit the variance that Cerquiglini anachronistically claims was the definitive condition of medieval writing (Busby 1993: 32–5).

Moreover, such a dating has been supported by recent radiocarbon testing of the Senior scrolls (Allon, Salomon, Jacobsen, and Zoppi 2006). However, more importantly in connection with the main topic of this article, the phrasing of the inscription implies that the donor or sponsor of the deposit considered the manuscripts to be functionally equivalent to bodily relics of the Buddha. There is of course nothing surprising in this, since the equivalence of bodily relics and “dharma-relics,” that is, textual relics, is a familiar one in Buddhist tradition generally (see, for example, Allon 2007: 4).

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Buddhist Manuscript Cultures: Knowledge, Ritual, and Art by Stephen C. Berkwitz, Juliane Schober, Claudia Brown


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