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Hangzhou Buddhist Culture International Symposium Announcement

Thursday, January 30, 2020

As part of the field survey of the FROGBEAR project in summer 2020, the participants will have the opportunity to present and join Hangzhou Buddhist Culture International Symposium on "Buddhist Texts, Textual Communities and Jiangnan Society" 佛教經典、文字社群與江南社會, held from June 5 to 7 and co-hosted by Zhejiang University and the University of Arizona.

Meeting time:

June 5-7, 2019 Venue: Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University 浙江大學紫金港校區 (Hangzhou, China)

Main themes:

1. Engraving and circulating Buddhist scriptures and Jiangnan society; 2. Worship, reading, circulation and acceptance of Buddhist texts in Jiangnan society; 3. Buddhist rare books and sectarian and religious life in Jiangnan society; 4. Buddhist books as "material substance" in Jiangnan society.


Texts are not only historical materials, primary documents, but also cultural relics and commodities. Texts, as written documents, are material, historical and social. Texts are the link and bridge between intellectual history and social history. In recent years, with the rise of the study of social history and the cultural history of books, texts as “commodities” have received more and more attention from researchers. Comprehensive research on the production, circulation, consumption and acceptance of texts has helped give us a more three-dimensional understanding of the value of texts. At the same time, certain texts are not only the products of a certain community, but also influence the formation of specific communities, and the mutual influence and shaping between the community and the texts. Jiangnan, since the Wuyue period (907-978) and Southern Tang dynasty (1227-1279), has been a center for production and circulation of Buddhist texts. Wu Yue’s Treasure Chest Seal Sutra Dhāraṇī (Baoqieyin jing tuoluoni), for example, not only had an important impact on China at the time, but also on Japan and Korea. Since the Song Dynasty, Jiangnan has become an important production place for the Buddhist Canon, the Yuanjue Canon, the Sixi Canon, the Qisha Canon, the Puning Canon, and the Jingshan Canon were engraved and printed in Jiangnan and distributed throughout the country. At the same time, Jiangnan is also an important production and distribution center for Buddhist texts. In-depth study of the interaction between Buddhist texts and Jiangnan society is of great significance not only for the history of Buddhist literature, the history of Buddhist society, but also for the history of ancient Chinese literature and the history of books. In view of this, Zhejiang University and the University of Arizona jointly organize an international academic seminar on "Buddhist Texts, Textual Communities and Jiangnan Society".