• Your current position:
  • News >
  • Detail

Print this Page. Send this Page.

Third Volume on Buddhist Stone Sutras in China

Mar 03, 2015

Tsai Suey-ling and Sun Hua have edited the third volume "Sichuan Province 2" of the book series "Buddhist Stone Sutras in China" (中國佛教石經). The series is based on the research of an international team led by Prof. Lothar Ledderose, senior professor of East Asian Art History at Heidelberg University.

This volume is the second one on the sites in Sichuan Province. Characteristic for Sichuan are cave chapels hewn out of red sandstone cliffs, each containing tens of thousands of characters. The volume presents the Grove of the Reclining Buddha (Wofoyuan) in Anyue County, where more than a hundred caves have been identified, and focuses on the sutras in caves 29 and 33. Engraved in cave 29 are four of the twelve chapters of the Sutra on the Names of the Buddhas (T#440). Differing from woodblock printed versions, the task of the carvers is here indicated by recording the numbers of names that they accomplished. Engraved in cave 33 are scrolls 11 and 12 of the Consecration Sutra (T#1331), the Dhāraṇī Sutra of the Six Gates (T#1360), the Deathbed Injunction Sutra (T#389), the Sutra on Renouncing the Householder’s Life (in T#202), and the Diamond Sutra (T#235). These text versions offer completely new insights into Buddhist scriptural transmission and practice. The engravings are fully reproduced in high quality, detailed photographs of the cave walls and of ink rubbings. All engraved texts are transcribed for the first time. The scholarly apparatus notes textual variants and variant characters in the calligraphy.

A conspicuous common feature of all texts in the two caves is their performative character and their liturgical use. Death is a common theme, as it is powerfully enacted and made visible in the giant sculpture of the Reclining Buddha directly opposite the two caves. The individual sutras are analyzed in separate essays by Chen Frederick Shih-Chung, Alexander L. Mayer, Ryan Richard Overbey, Manuel Sassmann, Tsai Suey-Ling and Claudia Wenzel. Annotated English translations are provided for the Dhāraṇī Sutra of the Six Gates and the Sutra on Renouncing the Householder’s Life.

The research team led by Lothar Ledderose consists of a group at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and specialists from Peking University as well as from the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology at Chengdu and the Sichuan Provincial Research Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. The volume is bilingual in Chinese and English and directed at a wide audience.

The volume "Sichuan Province 2", edited by Tsai Suey-ling and Sun Hua (Hardcover, XII/448 pages with 26 figs., 248 plates in color&b/w and 2 maps), is available for all continents except Asia through Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden. For Asian countries is available through China Academy of Art Press, Hangzhou. It is part of the book series "Buddhist Stone Sutras in China" edited by Lothar Ledderose.

Prof. Lothar Ledderose coordinated research project D4 "Aspects of Authenticity" at the Cluster "Asia and Europe". He is senior professor of East Asian Art History at Heidelberg University.


Search

RSS Feeds

RSS FeedNews Feed

  • Book Cover

  • Wofoyuan Cave 33