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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 3.1 (2020): 70–107;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manuscript Studies and Xuanzang Studies)

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Offerings and the Production of Buddhist Scriptures in Dunhuang during the Tenth Century

ERC Project BuddhistRoad, CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Abstract: This study explores the production of Buddhist scriptures in Dunhuang during the late medieval period, with a focus on the period when Hexi was ruled by the Guiyijun 歸義軍 regime from 848 to c. 1038 CE. The study is divided into five parts which deal with the historical background and the nature of the sources, typologies of scriptural production as an integral part of Buddhist offerings, official donations of Buddhist scriptures in Dunhuang, privately produced scriptures as offerings, and finally, a case study regarding the celebrated lay-Buddhist and scholar Zhai Fengda’s copy of the Vajracheedikā.

Keywords: Scriptural production, Dunhuang, offerings, donations, Guiyijun, Buddhist scriptures, Zhai Fengda


About the Author: Henrik H. Sørensen holds a Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen (1988), and is a specialist in East Asian Buddhism and material culture, as well as in the Esoteric Buddhist traditions of China and Korea, especially its pre-Tantric formations. He was a co-founder of the academic journal Studies in Central and East Asian Buddhism, and is currently project-coordinator of the ERC project BuddhistRoad with focus on the Buddhist cultures on the Silk Road and their interrelationship based at the CERES Institute, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany (2017–2022).


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.