Dunhuang & Silk Road Seminar Series, 2018

Dunhuang & Silk Road Seminar Series, 2018

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge 

Lent Term 2018 (January-March 2018)

  1. Christoph Anderl, “An Analysis of Po Mo Bian破魔變 ‘Destruction of Māra Transformation Text’ ”
  2. Imre Hamar, “Bodhisattva on Six Tusked White Elephant: Samantabhadra Texts and Images in Dunhuang”
  3. Wang Yong, “From Silk to Gold: International Currency in Pre-modern East Asia”
  4. Tang Li, “Medieval Travelogues on Buddhist, Christian and Muslim Communities along the Silk Road in China”
  5. Feng Jing, “How Knowledge was Organized and Accepted in Medieval China: Editorial Skills and Reading Strategies Reflected in Dunhuang Encyclopedias”
  6. Christine Mollier, “Talismans to Pacify the Tomb: Archeological Evidence from Dunhuang”


Easter Term 2018 (April-June 2018)

  1. George Keyworth, “Marginalia on Buddhist Manuscripts from Dunhuang and Japan”
  2. Stefano Zacchetti, “Exegetical Strategies in Early Chinese Buddhist Commentaries (2nd–4thcenturies CE)”
  3. Li Lingling, Chuxueji初學記 and Education in the Tang Dynasty”
  4. Kitsudo Koichi, “Text and Painting in Uyghur Buddhism with Parallels to Tangut Materials”
  5. Christopher Nugent, “A Tang Miscellany Found at Dunhuang as a Part of Literary Training in Medieval China”
  6. Hajni Elias, “Women’s Work (Nüshi女事): Women’s Role in the Production and Sale of Alcohol in Han China”


Michaelmas Term 2018 (October-November 2018)

  1. Yang Huan, “Tracing the Sources of Tangut Stories in Mongolian and Tibetan Historical Records”
  2. Lin Peiying, “The Relationship between a Japanese Royal Portrait and Tang Royal Murals: On the Materiality of the Cultural Identity of the Tang”
  3. Jonathan Silk, “A Window into Sino-Tibetan Pure Land Practices at Dunhuang”
  4. Wang Lina, “The Book Collections of Buddhist Monasteries in Chang’an and Cultural Interaction”
  5. Peng Xiangqian, “The Diversity of Tangut Culture in light of the Tangut Calendar”


Lent Term 2018

  1. Prof. Christoph Anderl, Ghent University

An Analysis of Po Mo Bian 破魔變 “Destruction of Māra Transformation Text” 

In this talk I will discuss this Transformation Text (bianwen 變文) among the Dunhuang material, based on a recent publication containing a new edition and translations into Modern Chinese and English. The main focus will be on the textual features of this semi-vernacular literary genre, as well as the problems encountered when editing and translating such a text. For that purpose we will look at selected passages of the text. During the seminar we will also discuss aspects of writing as reflected in the work, including variant characters and phonetic loan characters typical for “colloquial” Dunhuang material. In addition, the text will be treated in the context of modern technology in terms of the production of digital and marked-up editions.


Christoph Anderl is a professor of Chinese Language and Culture at Ghent University specializing on the study of Medieval Chinese Buddhist texts, with a focus on their linguistic features. In addition, he conducts research concerning medieval Chan Buddhism, as well as text-image relations in the representation of Chinese Buddhist narratives. Currently, he is also involved in two international projects, the large interdisciplinary project “From the Ground Up: Buddhism and East Asian Religions” (http://frogbear.org/about/about-the-project/project-summary/) and a collaborative project between DILA (Taiwan) and the Department of Languages and Cultures at Ghent University concerning the digitization and analytical mark-up of Buddhist Dunhuang texts (The Ghent Database of Chinese Medieval Texts). For more information on research and publications, please consult  https://ugent.academia.edu/ChristophAnderl and http://research.flw.ugent.be/en/christoph.anderl.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. Imre Hamar, ELTE University

Bodhisattva on Six Tusked White Elephant: Samantabhadra Texts and Images in Dunhuang


Prof. Hamar is a scholar of Huyan Buddhism who has authored dozens of articles and books on Huayan texts, and on Buddhism in general. His contributions include Reflecting Mirrors (2007) and Faith in Buddhism (2017), two edited volumes which contain contributions from leading scholars on Buddhist topics.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. WANG Yong, Zhejiang University

From Silk to Gold: International Currency in Pre-modern East Asia


Research on the history of ancient currencies used in East Asia has long been a topic of interest for scholars worldwide. Despite the considerable attention paid to the currency of individual countries and the overseas distribution of Chinese money during the Song and Ming dynasties, little attention has been paid to the common currency of East Asia during the Sui-Tang period. A popular view in Japanese scholarship is that from the early 8th century Japanese envoys to Tang China already brought with them gold as the currency they could use in the Tang Empire, which generated the impression that Japan had large reserves of gold. Yet gold had been relatively scarce in Japan and the common currency was in fact silk. The use of silk as international currency can be attributed to the threefold taxation system of grain, cloth and corvee labour, implemented in the Tang Empire and adapted also in Japan and Silla. It was in 804 that Japanese envoys for the first time carried with them gold instead of silk, a development that can be attributed to its small size and high value, and the growing production in Japan itself. This substitution was of milestone significance in the history of international currency in East Asia.


Professor WANG Yong completed postgraduate studies at the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies, and received his Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Japan) in 1996. He is now concurrently Director of the Institute of Japanese Culture Studies and Chair Professor of East Asian Studies at Zhejiang University. He is also Vice President of the Chinese Society for Historians of China’s foreign Relations.

He specializes in the history of Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges, particularly in the exchange of books in East Asia. The concept of “Book Road” he had proposed has now gained international recognition. His representative works in Chinese include Historical research of Sino-Japanese relationsJapanese Culture: The track between imitation and innovation; and Foreign Exchanges of Lin’an in the Southern Song Dynasty. His books published in Japanese include Shotokutaishi Goes beyond Time and SpaceJapan’s Emissaries Viewed from Tang ChinaImages of Japan in Chinese HistorySino-Japanese History through the Exchange of Books.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr. Li Tang, University of Cambridge

Medieval Travelogues on Buddhist, Christian and Muslim Communities along the Silk Road in China


The Yuan Dynasty saw a revival of religions in China. The world religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam existed alongside Taoism and Shamanism. Chinese Yuan sources did describe Buddhists, Christians and Muslims serving the Yuan court in various capacities, but they fall short of providing a full picture of these religious diaspora in Yuan-China. However, medieval travellers such as Marco Polo, William of Rubruck, Rabban Sauma etc. provided in their travelogues invaluable information on various religious communities along the Chinese part of the Silk Road. Li Tang’s talk will demonstrate how medieval travel literature can help bridge the gap of our knowledge about Buddhist, Christian and Muslim communities in medieval China.


Dr. Li Tang is Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at University of Salzburg, Austria and has been Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall and at the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge. Her main publications include: East Syriac Christianity in Mongol-Yuan China (Otto Harrassowitz, 2011) and A Study of the History of Nestorian Christianity in China and Its Literature in Chinese Together with a New English Translation of the Dunhuang Nestorian Documents (Peter Lang, 2002, 2nd Revised Edition 2004). She is also the main editor of a series of academic publications on Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia, such as Winds of Jingjiao, From the Oxus River to the Chinese Shores etc.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Jing Feng, University of Cambridge

How Knowledge was Organized and Accepted in Medieval China: Editorial Skills and Reading Strategies Reflected by Dunhuang Encyclopedias

The talk will centre on the essay that I’m working on, which is about the non-textual elements (the page layout, paragraph separation, punctuation mark, and book format) in the corpus of encyclopedias discovered in Dunhuang library cave and the editorial skills and reading strategies reflected by them. I argue that early in the Tang Dynasty Chinese readers have developed a series of editorial skills and reading strategies with the aim of selecting what is important from a large pool of knowledge with high-efficiency. Later, even though books and reading have experienced great transformation with the rise of the imprint, they still inherit handsome legacies from their predecessors and combine with older practices of editing and reading in the manuscript tradition. I sincerely welcome everyone that is interested to come to give your comments and advice.


Jing Feng is a 1st year PhD student under supervision of Dr Imre Galambos in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Her research interests are manuscript culture and history of reading in medieval China. Now she is working on the reference books in Tang China, focusing on their making and use, as well as the reading practices behind them.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr. Christine Mollier, CRCAO, Collège de France

Talismans to pacify the tomb: Archeological evidence from Dunhuang


Omnipresent in Chinese religious practice for more than two thousand years, talismans (fu 符) are composed of cryptographs and other designs inscribed or engraved on diverse media to serve as apotropaic, prophylactic, or therapeutic ritual implements. My presentation will focus on the funerary talismans drawn on some of the 3rd to 5th centuries potteries and wooden tablets « to pacify the tomb » (zhenmu 鎮墓) that have been brought to light by archeologists in the Dunhuang region. These documents will be deciphered and compared to earlier, Eastern Han fu unearthed in central China. We shall see that they contain primary information on the mortuary and postmortem conceptions of the early first millennium. Their examination, moreover, allows us to situate them in an enduring astro-funerary tradition that was perpetuated in Dunhuang until as late as the 10th century as attested by manuscript sources.


Dr. Christine Mollier (CRCAO/UMR8155, Collège de France) is a specialist of medieval Chinese religions. She has worked on the interaction of Buddhism and Daoism, the tradition of Daoist talismans and Dunhuang manuscripts in general. Her publications include Une apocalypse taoïste du début du Ve siècle (1990) and Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face (2008).

Click here to return to the top.



Easter Term 2018


  1. Prof. George Keyworth, University of Saskatchewan

Marginalia on Buddhist Manuscripts from Dunhuang and Japan


Colophons (shikigo 識語 or okugaki 奥書) from Buddhist manuscripts found in cave seventeen of the Mogao grottoes near Dunhuang, in western China, the Shōsōin 正倉院 (more precisely the Shōgozō 聖語藏 of Tōdaiji 東大寺) in Nara, Japan, and two twelfth-century manuscript Buddhist canons from Nanatsudera 七寺 (Nagoya) and Matsuo shrine 松尾大社 (Kyoto) reveal critical information about religion, politics, the economy, and exchange that is anything but marginal to historians of East Asia. For example, scribes consulted multiple editions to make copies and their work was often painstakingly checked and corrected. Large compendia (e.g., Mahāprajñāpāramitā-sūtra 大般若経 [Z. no 1, T no. 220] and Abhidharma-vibhāṣa-śāstra 阿毗曇毗婆沙論 [Z no. 1071, T no. 1546]) seem to have been more popular than presumably short and handy ritual manuals. Secular officials and shrine priests in Japan from the eighth- to thirteenth-centuries and beyond had large compendia and hand-copied editions of the Buddhist canon (issaikyō 一切経) duplicated from eighth-century manuscripts, rather than from newly imported printed canons (dazangjing, daizōkyō 大藏經) imported from China and Korea. First, I provide an overview of available materials and how to conduct research with Dunhuang materials in conjunction with manuscript collections in Japan. Next, I introduce examples from Dunhuang, Nara-, and Heian-era Japan to address who produced these texts and from what scriptoria (Bonshakuji 梵釈寺 in Shiga and Fushimi 伏見 shrine) to investigate what looks to me like an extensive tradition of producing manuscript editions of the Buddhist “canon” from Central Asia to western China and Japan. Finally, I consider how these manuscripts may be evidence of a larger Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition of the ‘cult of the book’ that Indologists Gregory Schopen and Oskar von Hinüber have found in northwest India and Afghanistan.


George Keyworth is Assistant Professor with Tenure from the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan, in Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Chinese Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Keyworth has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to support research about and the publication of peer-reviewed articles on Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) Chinese Chan Buddhism and the figure of Juefan Huihong 覚範惠洪 (1071-1128); Japanese pilgrims to Song China (e.g., Jōjin 成尋 [1011-1081]); apocryphal Chinese Buddhist scriptures and the particular case of the Shoulengyan jing 首楞厳経 (*Śūraṃgama-sūtra) using sources from Dunhuang and Japan; esoteric Buddhism in Tang (618-907) and Song China; Zen Buddhism in Edo Japan and the figure of Kakumon Kantetsu 覚門貫徹 (d. 1730); and old Japanese manuscript Buddhist canons, especially from Nanatsudera and the Matsuo shrine canon kept at Myōrenji 妙蓮寺. Dr. Keyworth is currently working on two books, tentatively titled: Zen and the Literary Arts and Copying for the Kami: A Study and Catalog of the Matsuo Shrine Buddhist Canon.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. Stefano Zacchetti, University of Oxford

Exegetical strategies in early Chinese Buddhist commentaries (2nd – 4thcenturies CE)



The introduction of Buddhist scriptures from the 2nd century on, mainly via the Silk Road, had lasting effects on Chinese literature and culture in general. The production of commentaries on translated texts represented the most direct reaction to this massive influx of new, foreign texts. Commentaries on translations started to be composed in the 2nd century CE, and this remained one of the main textual forms used by Chinese Buddhist elites in the early medieval period. This presentation focuses on commentaries dating back to the initial period of Buddhist presence in China (2nd-4th centuries CE). Nowadays, only few fragments survive of what must once have been a very large corpus of exegetical texts: a handful of early commentaries have been included in the canon, while a few others have been partially preserved by some fragmentary early manuscripts, especially from Dunhuang. Yet these sparse remnants constitute one of the most important sources we have for studying the intellectual history of early Chinese Buddhism. The talk will look at some of the most significant early commentaries, exploring the key hermeneutical tools and strategies they employed, and comparing their underlying notions of text, language and meaning.


Stefano Zacchetti is the Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Oxford. Previously he worked at the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Tokyo) and at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research focuses on the transmission of Buddhism from India to China, on early Chinese Buddhist literature (particularly translations and commentaries), and on the history of the Chinese Buddhist canon. His publications include the monograph In Praise of the Light (Tokyo 2005), and several articles.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr. Li Lingling, Zhejiang Gongshang University

Chuxueji初學記 and the Education in the Tang Dynasty (2nd-4th centuries CE)


The imperial examination culture and imaginative poetry are the important factors that have influenced the culture of the Tang Dynasty to the later civilizations of China and the world. The mutual influence and check and balance between them have exerted an important influence on the formation of the Tang civilization, with full of glory. Behind all this, the development of the Tang Dynasty education culture cannot be neglected. This lecture focuses on the influence of the Tang-dynasty Chuxueji初學記 on the education of the Tang Dynasty. The education of the Tang Dynasty is usually divided into two categories: primary education and imperial examinations. The textbooks for primary education are generally based on literacy and moral education. The most common examples are the teaching of Mongolian books in Dunhuang literature. The imperial examination education is generally considered to serve examinations. The mainstream textbooks that are usually considered work for the imperial examination are the Wujing zhengyi 五經正義 and the Wenxuan 文選. The content of these teaching materials is concentrated and narrow in scope, and it is even easy to cause stereotyped misunderstandings in the textbooks of the Tang Dynasty. This lecture will explore the scope of knowledge covered by the Chuxueji初學記, the role and impact the Chuxueji初學記had on the imperial examinations through specific examples.


Li Lingling is Associate Professor of Chinese Traditional Philology Studies at Zhejiang Gongshang University. Her research focuses on the Chinese examination culture in the Tang Dynasty, on the dissemination of Confucian literature, and on phonology and meanings of the Buddhist scriptures in Dunhuang. His publications include the monograph Chuxueji yijing kao 〈初學記〉引經考 (A Quotations from the Classics in the Chuxueji, Beijing 2013), and a series of articles.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr.KoichiKitsudo, Ryukoku University

Text and Painting in Uyghur Buddhism with Parallels to Tangut Materials


The West Uyghur kingdom and the Tangut kingdom (Western Xia) existed side by side in the North-western frontier of China during 10th-13th centuries. The Uyghurs spoke a Turkic language, and the Tanguts a Tibeto-Burman one. Soon after the establishment of these two states, Buddhism became the main belief in both of them, and each developed a unique Buddhist culture through absorbing Buddhist elements from their neighbours. In spite of their geographical vicinity and contemporaneity, there has been few studies comparing Buddhist materials unearthed from the ruins of these two states. This lecture tries to compare the Buddhist texts in Old Uyghur and Tangut languages, as well as paintings. It is hoped that this comparison will offer new viewpoint for the research on the history of Central Asian Buddhism.


Dr. Kitsudo Koichi is a researcher at the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures at Ryukoku University. His work primarily concentrates on Buddhist texts written in Uyghur and he has written numerous studies on the topic in both Japanese and English. He recently began working on Buddhist texts and images from the Tangut state.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. Christopher Nugent, Williams College

A Tang Miscellany Found at Dunhuang as a Part of Literary Training in Medieval China


The common scholarly perception of literary training in medieval China tends to involve beleaguered boys and young men reciting a set of classical texts until they had set them to memory through the brute force of rote memorization. This would prepare them to later regurgitate these same texts verbatim on some version of the civil service exam. While there is no doubt that much rote memorization took place in the period, surviving education works, mostly discovered in the caves at Dunhuang, give a more varied and nuanced picture of the practices of literary training. They reveal a vast textual world in which the increasingly massive literary, cultural, and historical inheritance was dissembled, sorted, culled, and organized into new forms and formats to make it more manageable and easier to learn. Some examples of these textual practices, such as the encyclopedic Yiwen leiju or the Chuxue ji, have survived in the received tradition and are well-known. Others that may have been even more popular and circulated widely in their own time are not. These works, the largely forgotten materials of everyday literary education now known only from the finds at Dunhuang, provide us with insights into the educational practices of the period that the received tradition obscures. My talk focuses on one such work, an eighth century compilation best known as Zachao 雜抄 “Miscellaneous excerpts,” that provides its readers with everything from lists of important geographical features to important quotations from classical texts.


Christopher M. B. Nugent is Professor of Chinese and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature at Williams College. He did his doctoral work in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University with Stephen Owen and his research focuses on the literary culture of the sixth through tenth centuries. His first book, Manifest in Words, Written on Paper: Producing and Circulating Poetry in Tang Dynasty China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2010) won the 2012 Joseph Levenson Book Prize, Pre-1900 Category. His second book, currently near completion, is tentatively entitled The Textual Practices of Literary Training in Medieval China and is based on his study of ninth-century educational manuscripts from the finds at Dunhuang.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Hajni Elias, University of Cambridge

Women’s Work (Nüshi 女事): Women’s Role in the Production and Sale of Alcohol in Han China


Material culture and early textual evidence confirm the role women played in the making and sale of alcoholic beverages in early China. Pictorial brick tiles and stone carvings from the Eastern Han (25-220 C.E.) period show women engaged in the production of alcohol and early histories and literary sources provide an insight into women’s role in brewing, drinking and selling alcohol in the market. Preparation of alcohol for ritual ceremonies, banquets and daily consumption is listed amongst the many household duties women were responsible for. It was women’s work (nüshi 女事) as was the production of textiles which assigned women with an economic role but also gave them a moral identity in the social sphere. However, women’s mastery of brewing is seldom elaborated on and appears not to have connoted feminine virtues in the same way as weaving. This presentation aims to examine the role women played in alcohol production in Han China. It bridges the methodological divide between art historians’ attention to material culture, and cultural historians’ understanding of early production of alcohol using textual sources.


Hajni Elias was educated in Hungary, Japan and China, and began her undergraduate studies in 1980 at Beijing University, majoring in Chinese history. She obtained her B.A. Degree (magna cum laude) in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and her M.A. and M.Phil. Degrees in Chinese History from Columbia University. In 2001, she joined the auction house, Sotheby’s, as Deputy Director and Senior International Researcher for Chinese Works of Art Departments worldwide. She performed in-depth research and analysis across all media to provide written reports on Chinese artefacts offered at auction sales in London, Hong Kong, New York and Paris. In 2012, she co-authored a comprehensive publication on Chinese art collections held privately and in museums worldwide, and on the history of the Chinese art market in the 20th and 21st centuries. The success of the book led to its translation into Chinese and its publication in China in 2015. Over the years, she has published numerous articles on Chinese art for periodicals, such as Arts of Asia, and continues to work as consultant and researcher for Sotheby’s and for private collectors. She is now in her final year of completing her Ph.D. degree at Cambridge University, pursuing research under the supervision of Prof. Roel Sterckx in the field of cultural and art history in Han China. Her dissertation examines notions of identity and memory as reflected in the material culture of the southwest border territories, in particular the area occupied by the former Shu and Ba cultures of present-day Sichuan province, during the Eastern Han dynasty.

Click here to return to the top.


Michaelmas Term 2018


  1. Prof. Yang Huan, Ningxia University

Tracing the Sources of Tangut Stories in Mongolian and Tibetan Historical Records


Many Tangut stories in ancient Mongolian and Tibetan historical records are borrowed and adapted from various ‘allusions’ spread among both previous generations and among other nationalities. For instance, the story of the “Yanmo Witch” is adapted from the Hexi tale of “The Saintess,” and stories of ‘Five-Element Divinations’ originate from Ge’er’s battle of wits, as recorded in The Teachings of the Late Songtsen Gampo. Furthermore, stories of eagles and cows nursing infants are adapted from “The Story of the Wolf-born,” the ancestral tale of Northern, steppe nationalities. Stories of mistaken identities also use the same plot progression as the Han Dynasty tale “Zhaojun Goes Beyond the Frontier;” and finally “A Broken Head Spills Milk” is first mentioned in Fu fazang yinyuan zhuan, a Buddhist historical record from the Northern Wei Dynasty.


Professor Yang Huan is from the College of Humanities at Ningxia University where he mainly teaches ancient Chinese history, with a particular focus on the history and geography of Northwest China. His books include A History of the Relationship between the Liao and Xia Dynasties (People’s Publishing House, Beijing, 2010), and The Vision of Others – Xixia in the History of Mongolian Tibet (Ningxia People’s Publishing House, Yinchuan, 2013). His articles have been published in Chinese journals, such as Chinese History Research andNational Studies. At present, he is mainly engaged in researching the geography of the Northwest Frontier in the Song Dynasty, as well as the study of print-making in Khara-Khoto.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr. Lin Peiying, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

The Relationship between a Japanese Royal Portrait and Tang Royal Murals: On the Materiality of the Cultural Identity of the Tang


In this seminar, I will investigate an instance of cultural exchange by comparing a Japanese portrait with a number of seventh- to eighth-century Tang royal murals, as well as images from Dunhuang’s Mogao Cave 130. My main enquiry is on the impression of Tang culture that the murals confer in terms of material culture and ethnic identity. The Japanese portrait, the Tōhon miei 唐本御影 (“Tang-edition royal portrait”), is traditionally claimed to be the earliest portrait of Japanese Prince Shōtoku 聖德太子. Scholars continue to dispute the identity of the painter of this portrait, but most agree that it was painted during the eighth century. The title mentioning that it is a “Tang edition” is evidence that medieval Buddhists in Japan and China attributed the work to a Tang painter. By analysing clothing styles, I will examine to what extent this Japanese portrait is akin to a Tang-style portrait.


Pei-ying Lin is Assistant Professor at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan. Her research interests are Chan Buddhism, bodhisattva precepts, and medieval Buddhist travelers. She studied at National Taiwan University (BA in Political Science, 2002), Cambridge University (MPhil, 2006), and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (PhD, 2012). Her thesis brought together a wide range of documents from ninth-century China, Japan and Korea, and examined the textual transmission at the early stage of the history of Chan Buddhism. Before joining Fu Jen University, as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Buddhism (2015-2016) at Berkeley, she has been working on a project involving a group of eighth-century precept manuals, analyzing the doctrinal and historical connections between Chan Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism during the Tang dynasty. Her current project discusses medieval Buddhist networks and their cultural exchanges between East Asia and the Silk Road.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. Jonathan Silk, Leiden University

A Window into Sino-Tibetan Pure Land Practices at Dunhuang


The virtually uniquely documented site of Dunhuang was, among other things, a cultural cross-roads. Among the populations present in the oasis were Tibetans, or Tibetan speakers, but their linguistic identity did not necessarily imply that their religious orientation was also Tibetan. Some sources reveal a fascinating community of Tibetan speakers who plainly turned for their Buddhism instead to China. The presentation discusses documentary evidence not only of their scribal culture but also explores intriguing hints at their ritual practices.


Jonathan Silk is Professor in the study of Buddhism at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is among other things the author of Riven By Lust (2008), several editions and translations of Buddhist scriptures, and is co-Editor in Chief of the Indo-Iranian Journal and founding general editor of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Dr. Wang Lina 王丽娜, National Library of China / Peking University

The Book Collections of Buddhist Monasteries in Chang’an and Cultural Interaction 唐代长安的寺院藏书与文化交流


唐代长安西明寺、大慈恩寺、大荐福寺、大兴善寺等著名寺院除了是信仰、文化中心,同时也承载着收藏佛教藏经和世俗典籍的功能。唐代长安寺院藏书之兴盛与长安是佛典翻译中心、教学与知识中心,以及世俗典籍的学习是唐代长安寺院僧人日常所研习等有密切关系。长安、洛阳两京新出的佛教著作也能够有机会及时输入敦煌。如高僧玄奘在唐初所译的佛典在藏经洞中就发现了许多,其中《大般若波罗蜜多经》写本就存有一千多个卷号,以沙州向长安乞经为例就可以从一个侧面看出长安寺院藏书对敦煌的影响。 唐代长安寺院藏书的意义远远超出佛教范围,带有泛文化性质,是文化史上浓墨重彩的一笔,产生了深广影响。


王丽娜, 南开大学文学院博士,北京大学哲学系博士后,国家图书馆副研究馆员,“北京大学佛教典籍与艺术研究中心”研究员,浙江大学《中国佛教史》编辑,主要研究领域为佛教文学与文化。2011 年,曾赴美国爱荷华大学(Iowa University)亚洲研究中心作访问学者,2013 年赴日本东京大学、花园大学作短期访学。专著有《汉译佛典偈颂研究》(商务印书馆,2016 年),曾在《东北师范大学学报》《宗教学研究》《世界宗教文 化》《中国宗教》《人文宗教研究》等刊物上发表《偈颂涵义考论》《<法句经>概貌考》等研究佛典偈颂的论文十篇、佛教传记文学论文两篇。2013-2014 年,作为主要组织者之一,筹办首届“戒律的文献与传播:新视野与新方法”国际学术会议和“支遁与魏晋南北朝佛教国际学术会议”。2014 年,主持北京大学哲学系“佛学工作坊”三期,主题涉及佛经语言、佛教文学、佛教造像等。2010-2012 年,因学术成果突出,获得南开大学云林奖学金。

Click here to return to the top.


  1. Prof. Peng Xiangqian 彭向前, Ningxia University

The Diversity of Tangut Culture in light of the Tangut Calendar 从西夏天文历法看西夏文化的多元性





Click here to return to the top.