Manuscripts and Travellers: The Sino-Tibetan Documents of a Tenth-century Buddhist Pilgrim
by Sam Van Schaik and Imre Galambos
Studies in Manuscript Cultures
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: de Gruyter (Sep 2011)
This study is based on a Sino-Tibetan manuscript from the late 960s, carried by a Chinese pilgrim through the Hexi corridor on his way from Wutaishan to India. Included is a series of Tibetan letters of introduction that functioned as a passport as the monk stopped in monasteries on his way. The manuscript is a unique contemporary testimony of the large pilgrimage movement known from historical sources. It also provides evidence for the high degree of ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity in Western China during this period.
About Sam van Schaik:
I am based at the British Library, where I run a British Academy-funded research project on Tibetan Chan (or Zen), as part of the International Dunhuang Project. I have also taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at the School of Oriental and African Studies on a part-time basis. My research has focused on the impact of social and historical factors on key issues in Tibetan culture. These include the contemplative tradition of the Great Perfection, the tantric ritual system and its social contexts, and the development of mythical narratives of imperial Tibet. I have also written on the intersection between orality and literacy, and on the social and historical context for the creation and development of the Tibetan writing system.