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BSA Zoom Lecture: Materialities of Tibetan Buddhist Texts

January 25, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Sponsored by CABS-Minnesota and the Bibliographical Society of America

Within the diverse traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the power of books—both printed and hand-written—lies not only in their contents, but also in their materiality as objects. While these texts primarily transmit the words of the Buddha(s), the teachings of Buddhist masters, and the commands of Buddhist leaders, they can also function as ritual objects, protective talismans, and instruments of political authority. The three scholars on this panel will share bibliographical studies of Tibetan texts that highlight how text production, circulation, and replication within architectural spaces has been utilized by Tibetan religious and political leaders to assert and solidify their power. Rebecca Bloom will discuss an illustrated commentary on the Buddhist monastic code and the series of murals inspired by it, which were initially composed and commissioned by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in the 1920s in order to purify the monastic community and protect the state he led. Focusing on a proclamation carved into a stele in both Mongolian and Tibetan, Sangseraima Ujeed will utilize this monumental, 17th-century text to disrupt mainstream historical narratives about its author, the infamous Mongolian lord Chogthu Taiji, who is otherwise depicted as an enemy of the Dharma. On a search for the true location of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s 17th-century printing house, Ben Nourse will examine evidence from the autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the continuation of that biography by his last regent, and from colophons and stylistic elements of editions produced at this location, where the largest catalog of printing blocks in Tibet up to that time were created.


Rebecca Bloom, PhD Candidate in Buddhist Studies, University of Michigan
Benjamin Nourse, Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Denver
Sangseraima Ujeed, Assistant Professor of Tibetan Buddhism, University of Michigan

Tues. Jan. 25, 4:00-5:00pm EST. Register here: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/G_6BEK666rNMHFuYaIT20A?t=1638213174


January 25, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST