Chen Ming: "Indian Literature and Culture in Medieval China: A Focus on Manuscripts from Dunhuang and Turfan"
Apart from a large number of Chinese translations of Indian Buddhist texts and Buddhist commentaries composed by the Chinese themselves, the Dunhuang and Turfan manuscript finds contain many other kinds of texts relating to Sino-Indian cultural exchange. These non-Buddhist manuscripts deal especially with literature (mainly folk tales), geography or travel notes, divination, science, technology and medicine. This lecture will focus on these manuscripts from Dunhuang and Turfan. Exploring them will reveal the complexity of Sino-Indian cultural exchange in the medieval period and help us to understand it better.
Professor Chen Ming is currently a Professor in the Department of South Asian Studies at Peking University. Since he was awarded a doctoral degree by Peking University in 1999, with a dissertation on Indian medical text Siddhasara, he has focused on the history of cultural communication between China and Central & South Asia in the Medieval Period, mainly but not exclusively in terms of medicine. His academic interests have also been extended to a study on Buddhist literature in Sanskrit-Chinese, the influence of ancient Indian literature on China, and manuscripts from Dunhuang and Turfan. In addition to some articles in English, his publications include five books, On the Sanskrit Medical Book Siddhasara(2002; 2014), Medical Manuscripts Discovered in Dunhuang and Western Regions: Foreign Medicine in Medieval China(2005), A Study on Sanskrit Text of Jivaka-pustaka from Dunhuang(2005), Foreign Medicine and Culture in Medieval China (2013), Texts and Languages: A Comparative Study on Some Manuscripts Unearthed from the Silk Road and Early Chinese Buddhist Canon (2013), all in Chinese. His current book projects involve a comparative study on vocabulary of Sanskrit-Chinese Buddhist vinaya texts, the relationship between pre-modern Sino-Indian medicine and culture in a perspective of global history.