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Paul Copp: "Manuscript Culture and the Ritualist's Craft at Dunhuang"

May 26, 2016 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center



This talk explores what manuscripts found at Dunhuang can tell us about the composition of Buddhist ritual forms in ninth and tenth centuries China. It takes manuscript liturgies, such as those centering on the Diamond Sutra and the Incantation of Great Compassion, as case studies, exploring three basic features of their making: 1. the  natures of the frames by which texts were made the focuses of recitation rites, 2. the borrowings and adaptations of existing materials of which those frames were made, and 3. the understandings of the nature of scriptural language implicit in these practices.


Paul Copp is associate professor in Chinese religion and thought at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Body Incantatory: Spells and the Ritual Imagination in Medieval Chinese Buddhism (Columbia, 2014) and is currently at work on a new book, tentatively titled "Seal and Scroll: Buddhism and Manuscript Culture at Dunhuang."

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Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
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