Buddhism along the Silk Road, Turin 2013 – Call for papers

Chair: Fanny Meunier (EPHE, Paris)

credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transasia_trade_routes_1stC_CE_gr2.png
credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transasia_trade_routes_1stC_CE_gr2.png

As well as goods, ideas were conveyed along the Silk Road. “Silk Road Buddhism” commonly refers to the transmission of Buddhism from India to China. Similarly, we call “Greco-Buddhism” a syncretism born from the meeting of the Buddhist culture, coming from India, and the Hellenistic one that spread in Bactria and the Gandhara region after Alexander the Great (323 BC) and through the Kushan Empire. These two traditions (even though themselves multiple) can roughly represent the situation of Buddhism along the Silk Road, from (Western) Central Asia to Eastern Asia from late 2nd century BC to 6th century CE ca.

We would like :
  • to compare Buddhism along the Silk Road to Indian Buddhism at the above mentioned period (through the issues of doctrinal vocabulary translation, of doctrine changes, of texts transmission, etc),
  • to discuss the role of the merchant people living along the Silk Road as cultural receivers and conveyors of Buddhism (one could also evocate the pre-Buddhist cultures of these peoples),
  • to have a chronological and typological view of the diffusion of Buddhism by comparison of these different cultures.

Invited fields of research: philology, history, history of art, theology, linguistics.

Studied areas: Northern India, Iranian, Tocharian, Tibetan, Chinese (and beyond).

Any suggestion will be taken into account. Please send a provisional title and a long abstract (ca. 1000 words) to the chairwoman (Fanny Meunier: fameunier@yahoo.fr) before the 30th April 2013.

NB (forthcoming):
HANSEN, V. (2012): The Silk Road, a new history, Oxford University Press.