Video available – Jonathan Silk: "A Window into Sino-Tibetan Pure Land Practices at Dunhuang"
The virtually uniquely documented site of Dunhuang was, among other things, a cultural cross-roads. Among the populations present in the oasis were Tibetans and other Tibetan speakers, whose linguistic identity, however, did not necessarily imply a Tibetan religious orientation. Sources suggest the existence and activities of a community literate in Tibetan, the members of which nevertheless turned for their Buddhism at least also to China. The presentation discusses documentary evidence not only of scribal culture but also explores intriguing hints at ritual practices.
Jonathan Silk is Professor in the study of Buddhism at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is among other things co-Editor in Chief of the Indo-Iranian Journal and founding general editor of Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism.