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Lecture by Matthew Kapstein

February 17, 2017 @ 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Other People’s Philology: Uses of Sanskrit in Tibet and China, 15th-18th c.

Join us for a talk by Matthew Kapstein, Director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, and Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago.

Lecture Abstract:
The long Tibetan preoccupation with the translation of the Buddhist literature of India reached a dénouement of sorts during the 13th century, when, guided by the influence of Sa-skya Paṇḍita Kun-dga’-rgyal-mtshan (1182-1251), translators turned their attention increasingly to the Sanskrit language arts, including metrics (chandas), synonymics (abhidhāna), and tropology (alaṃkāraśāstra). Although Tibetan Sanskrit studies grew decadent in some respects during the centuries that followed, a growing body of scholarship has begun to show that Tibetan contributions in this field nevertheless merit close attention. With the appearance of newly discovered manuscript sources, moreover, it now seems that late Tibetan traditions of Sanskrit language learning have more to offer to contemporary research might have been previously imagined. The presentation proposed here will review the state of the field and introduce some of the resources that have only recently appeared. Developments in China inspired by Tibetan engagements with Sanskrit will be illustrated as well.

Co-sponsored by the East Asia Center, the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and the Center for South Asian Studies.


February 17, 2017
3:15 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Monroe Hall 124


Tibet Center
East Asia Center
Virginia Center for the Study of Religion