The great Prajñāpāramitā commentary generally known as Da zhidu lun 大智度論 (T 1509), translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva at the beginning of the 5th century CE, has been arguably one of the most influential texts in the history of East Asian Buddhism. During this seminar we will read some passages from the second part of the Da zhidu lun, not included in Étienne Lamotte’s monumental translation (Le Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse de Nāgārjuna, Louvain 1944-1980). As a preliminary step towards the interpretation of the Da zhidu lun and its exegetical technique, we will also compare Kumārajīva’s translation of the basic text (the Mohebanruoboluomi jing 摩訶般若波羅蜜經 T 223) with the available Sanskrit parallels, particularly the Gilgit manuscript of the Larger Prajñāpāramitā.
Stefano Zacchetti (1994 degree in Chinese; 1999 PhD, Venice University; further studies at Sichuan University, China, and Leiden University) was from 2001 to 2005 associate professor at the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Tokyo), and is currently a tenured lecturer (ricercatore) at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Asian and North African Studies. His research focuses on early Chinese Buddhist literature (particularly translations and commentaries), and the history of the canon. His publications include the monograph In Praise of the Light: A Critical Synoptic Edition with an Annotated Translation of Chapters 1-3 of Dharmaraksa's Guang zan jing, The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology - Soka University (Bibliotheca Philologica et Philosophica Buddhica VIII), Tokyo 2005, and several articles.