Monday, 21 September 2015

AHRC grant awarded for Tibetan Law research @ Oxford

Dr. Fernanda Pirie receives AHRC Leadership Fellows award

From a manuscript on Tibetan law, 
Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, Dharamsala

Dr Fernanda Pirie

Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies, 

will be working on this project Oct 2015 - Mar 2017:

Legal Ideology in Tibet: 

Politics, Practice, and Religion
The relationship between law and religion is one of the great 

themes of historical legal scholarship, yet the legal realm of Tibet’s

theocracy has barely been considered from a socio-historic 

perspective. This project is tracing the different strands that 

emerged in Tibetan legal thought during one of its formative 

periods, the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries, which 

culminated in the rise of the Dalai Lamas’ Ganden Podrang 


The members of the project are examining texts, ideas, and 

ideologies considered in their social contexts. They are tracing the 

different sources and strands of legal thought, exploring tensions 

between them and attempts by Tibetan writers, many of whom 

were religious scholars, to reconcile religious, ethical, and 

jurisprudential ideals. The approach is socio-historical, involving 

close examination of textual sources, but considering legal, 

ethical, and religious ideas in their social and political contexts 

and bringing them into comparison with scholarship on Islamic, 

Indic, Christian, and Chinese legal traditions. Socio-historical and 

anthropological insights are thus being brought to bear on a field 

dominated by textual scholarship, with the goal of developing new 

perspectives on Tibetan legal thought.

As well as publications on Tibet’s legal tradition, this project will 

culminate in the establishment of a web-based resource, which 

will incorporate copies, summaries, translations, and indexes of 

the relevant documents, currently scattered throughout different 

archives and collections.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

TBRC & Google Culture Institute

TBRC in Boston (USA) has announced
a tie-in with
Google Culture Institute
for digital presentation of
Tibetan manuscripts.

For a sample,
an 84 Mahasiddhas illuminated manuscript,
see This link

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Talk by Bodleian Tibetan Collection librarian

On 1st July (tomorrow!) 
@ The Buddhist Society, London,
at 6.30 pm

The Origins of the Reincarnate Lamas 

Tradition in Central Asia


"One of the prominent features of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions of Central Asia and the Himalayan regions, suffusing social and political self-organization in those regions for almost a thousand years, are the ‘tulkus’ (sprul sku), known in English as reincarnate lamas or Living Buddhas. 
This talk will look at the beginnings of this tradition, and in particular the life and times of one of the primary originators of the reincarnate lama tradition, 
Karma Pakshi (1204/6-1283 CE), 
who was Buddhist teacher to two Mongol emperors in China"

website details @ this link

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Tibetan Manuscripts conference @ Chicago University

Feb 26th - 28th 2015

Conference at Chicago University, 
as part of the the development towards a future publication of
A Manual of Tibetan Manuscript Studies

The conference title:

Merits of the Book:
Buddhist Manuscript Traditions across Asia

The programme and abstracts PDF 
is linked  here

Titles in brief, in chronological order of presentation:

In Praise of Error 
 R. Salomon

Mapping the Early Technology of Paper in Central Asia
 A. Helman-Wazny

The Conditioned Genesis of the Dunhuang Manuscripts
S. Teiser
The Production of Sutras for the  Tibetan Emperor
B. Dotson

Writing Societies 
B. Lowe
(Ancient Japanese manuscripts)

Sacred Space of the Manuscript  
J. Kim
(Indic manuscripts)
All Manuscripts are Palimpsests 
G. Heyworth
 (spectral imaging)

The Archivist's Dilemma 
J. Wallman
(digital archiving)

Handwriting Identification in Tibetan Manuscripts
 S. van Schaik

Medical Culture & Manuscript Culture in Tibetan Knowledge Networks
S. van Vleet

Methods & Pathways in the Study of Digital Tibetan Manuscripts
 M. Sheehy

 Miscellany for a Manual of Tibetan Manuscript Studies
M. Kapstein

followed by a workshop discussion ("The Survivor's Ball" - MTK),
minutes taken by CEM

The proceedings were video-recorded by University of Chicago,
and should be available for viewing when ready.
Notification of the recordings will appear on Bod Blog.

A selection of photos from the conference follows:

Dr Agnieszka  Helman-Wazny (Hamburg)

Prof Stephen Teiser (Princeton U), with the backs of 2 former Oxfordians

Dr Brandon Dotson (Munich)

Professor Vesna Wallace (UCSB)

Dr Gregory Heyworth's (Mississippi) multispectral research demonstrated
a prior reading of the American Declaration of Independence...
Jefferson apparently had second thoughts.

from Dr Sam van Schaik's presentation, via Skype,
on Tibetan Handwriting

(click on photo to see enlarged)

Dr Stacey van Vleet (UCB),
on medical manuscripts

Dr Michael Sheehy (TBRC, Boston)

Professor Matthew Kapstein (Chicago/Paris)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

R.I.P. Sir Terry Pratchett

Sad news - R.I.P. Sir Terry Pratchett.

Bodleian Library featured briefly in recent book (2012),
in which a Tibetan character (Lobsang) appeared ...

(click on photo to read at larger size)

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Opening of Weston Library

To celebrate the public opening of the Weston Library 
(where the Tibetan manuscripts are housed)
a series of walks and talks are planned 
for the weekend of 21 - 22 March 2015,

see this link

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Report on Manuscripts Conference,
(Chicago 2015)
will appear here when time permits...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Encore on the negatives found @ New Bodleian (now known as Weston Library)

As an update on  the posting from Mon 24 Sept 2012 below ( Negatives @ Bod ),
an article (by Dr Nathan W. Hill & Mr Charles Manson) has now been published about H.E. Richardson's photographic negatives
found @ New Bodleian in 2010
while tidying out before the Weston refurbishment.
The negatives are of an 18C Tibetan manuscript recording
the inscriptions on several Tibetan stelae (Tib. rdo rings)
(all created in late 8th-9th centuries CE, Central Tibet)

The article has been published in the volume
Epigraphic Evidence in the Pre-Modern Buddhist World, 
published by
Arbeitskreis fur Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien Universitat Wien.

Thanks to a generous Open Access grant by the Austrian Science Fund,
the volume has been made available by the publisher here

Prints of the negatives are available to view
on the Luna site, here