Stephen F. Teiser:"Chinese Buddhist Manuscripts from Dunhuang: Healing Liturgies"
Stephen F. Teiser, Princeton University
The Chinese manuscripts discovered at Dunhuang include thousands of non-canonical Buddhist liturgies, including texts for dealing with death and sickness. This seminar involves a close reading of several liturgies for healing (患文). These rituals constituted one technique that could be utilized for treating sickness in the medieval Chinese world. Like other Buddhist liturgies from Dunhuang, they were composed in Chinese rather than being translated from Indic originals. Their literary style consists largely of parallel prose (駢儷文), and in diction and grammar they are also indebted to indigenous language. Nevertheless, their literary form and content also contain elements deriving from the broader Indian Buddhist world.