Workshop on Early Chinese Buddhist Translations

October 2017, Yale University.

Workshop on Early Chinese Buddhist Translations

Led by Professor Jan Nattier, the specific topic of the workshop was on two unusual Chinese versions of the story of the final nirvana (i.e., the death) of the Buddha’s foster mother, Mahāprajāpatī: 大愛道般泥洹經 (T144) and 佛母般泥洹經(T145). The workshop considers, first of all, how to evaluate the translator attributions given in the received tradition. Having established the probable dates and attributions of these texts, the workshop reads through the two stories, discusses what to do with Buddhist names and terms that are not registered in existing dictionaries. The workshop then compares these two Chinese versions with other versions of the story extant in Chinese, Tibetan, and Pāli, in an attempt to place the texts that were read within their historical context.

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