Unlocking Buddhist Written Heritage (two-day ticket)

The Life of the Buddha © British Library

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Explore Buddhist manuscript collections and Buddhist practices

From the beautiful illuminated manuscripts of Thailand to the medical texts of the Silk Roads, our speakers examine how collection items give context to our understanding of Buddhism and its practices.

View the full programme here.

This ticket is for both days of the conference. Separate Friday and Saturday tickets are also available.

Friday programme

Keynote speaker 
Birgit Kellner, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Worshipped as precious relics? On the valuation of Indian manuscripts in the history of Tibetan Buddhism

Panel 1 Collections and Buddhist Practice: Texts and Translation
Exploring how particular textual collections and their translations shape our understanding of the history of Buddhism and continue to shape Buddhist practices

Stefano Zacchetti, Oxford University
Remnants of a textual shipwreck: manuscript fragments of Early Chinese Buddhist exegetical literature

Camillo Formigatti, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University
Translating manuscripts from Sanskrit to Tibet and vice versa

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Goldsmiths, University of London
Experiencing breath in translation

Panel 2 Collections in the Monastic Context 
Examining collections from Buddhist monasteries, temples and courts, and how that context informs Buddhist practice

Ven. Mahinda Deegalle, Bath Spa University
Texts as Sacred Objects in Theravada: The riches of the largest temple library collection of palm leaves in Hanguranketa Potgul Rajamaha Vihara, Sri Lanka

Andrew Skilton, Oxford University
Not-being-the-Canon, customary parlance and word-power: Endangered texts in Thai Buddhism

Kate Crosby and Amal Gunasena, King’s College London and SOAS, University of London

Saturday programme

Panel 3 Collections and Buddhist Practice: Art and Performance
Presenting visual arts and ritual performance as collections which provide insights into Buddhist practice

Jana Igunma, British Library
The Buddha and his natural environment in Southeast Asian manuscript art

Christian Luczanits, SOAS, University of London
Buddhist monastery collections in Mustang, Nepal: A review

Lucia Dolce, SOAS, University of London
Tantric ritual practice from medieval Japanese manuscripts

Panel 4 Collections in the Heritage Context: Conservation, Preservation, Dissemination
A consideration of the life of collections in cultural heritage institutions, and the ongoing work to conserve, preserve and disseminate their contents for a global audience.

Melodie Doumy and Marie Kaladgew, British Library
The Materiality of Buddhist scrolls: reflections on its Preservation and Conservation 

Jann Ronis, Buddhist Digital Resource Center, Boston USA
Manuscripts in the Digital Age

Sam van Schaik, British Library
Buddhism from the ground up: reflections on the role of magic and medicine in Buddhist manuscripts

Chair for the concluding discussion Tim Barrett, SOAS, University of London

In partnership with the School of Oriental and African Studies and supported by The Robert H N Ho Family Foundation


Name: Unlocking Buddhist Written Heritage (two-day ticket)
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546