South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

"Show me the Land Where the Buddha Dwelled..."

Xuanzang's Record of the Western Regions (Xiyu-ji): A Misunderstood Text?

Fri, November 19, 2010 | Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

4:00 PM

Dr. Max Deeg
Department of Religion, Cardiff University, U.K.
Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University

Xuanzang’s Records of the Western Regions undoubtedly is one of the most important early medieval sources for the study of Buddhism in Central Asia and South Asia. Although still being used as a touchstone in Buddhist textual studies, art history and archaeology the Records have never been allowed to be read in their historical context or rather in their contexts. This talk will give an overview of the different Western misreadings of the text since its “discovery” in the early 19th century, will present some interesting facts and details about the reception history in Asia proper, and will finally suggest a different interpretative approach by selecting and contextualizing three examples from the text and show the multifaceted functions and aspects of the text.

Sponsored by: Department of Asian Studies

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