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"The Authorship and Provenance of the Chapters of the Suvarṇa[pra]bhāsa Ascribed to Paramartha, and Implications for the History of Buddhist Texts"
Venue: conference room at IIAS (Rapenburg 59)
Date & Time: Thursday 16 January from 15.00 - 17.00.
In this talk, Dr. Radich will pose the argument that the four chapters of the Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra ("Sutra of Golden Light") attributed to Paramartha (499-569) were most likely composed in China, and other versions of those chapters therefore were most likely derived from Paramartha's versions. In doing so Dr. Radich will posit the possibility that some Tibetan versions of the chapters, which are supposed to have been translated from Sanskrit, are more likely to have in fact been translated from Chinese. These findings have wider implications for the history of the Suvarnaprabhasa; for the history of Buddha-body doctrine; for the whole corpus ascribed to Paramartha; and for our understanding of the information in traditional Tibetan catalogues. Dr. Radich will also briefly discuss new computer-assisted techniques that were used to uncover the patterns of textual evidence upon which his analysis is based.
Dr. Michael Radich is a Senior Lecturer in the Religious Studies Programme at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he has worked since 2005. A New Zealander by birth, he was educated at Auckland University in composition, music analysis and Asian Studies, and then at Harvard in East Asian Studies. He received his PhD from Harvard in 2007 for a dissertation entitled "The Somatics of Liberation: Ideas about Embodiment in Buddhism from Its Origins to the Fifth Century C.E." He is also the translator of Kazushige Shingu, Being Irrational: Lacan, the Objet a, and the Golden Mean; and the author of How Ajatasatru Was Reformed: The Domestication of "Ajase" and Stories in Buddhist History, and The Mahaparinirvana-mahasutra and the Emergence of Tathagatagarbha/Buddha nature Doctrine (forthcoming). For Winter 2013-2014 he is the Numata Guest Professor at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg.