The Teaching of Vimalakīrti: An English Translation of the Sanskrit Text Found in the Potala Palace, Lhasa by Luis Gómez and Paul Harrison, with members of the Mangalam Translation Group.
In 1999, a Sanskrit version of the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, long thought lost, was discovered in the Potala Palace in Lhasa by a team of scholars from Taishō University in Japan, who then presented it to the world in a series of landmark publications. Previous English renderings of this classic Mahāyāna text had been based on Chinese or Tibetan translations and not the Indian Sanskrit. Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages sponsored a three-week workshop on the newly discovered text in 2010, led by five eminent scholars. At the end of the workshop, the decision was made to prepare a full translation.
Building on the initial efforts of workshop participants and working closely with Luis Gómez before he passed away, Paul Harrison, the George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University, has carried the English translation to completion. The result is a careful and scholarly treatment of this enduring text by two dedicated interpreters and translators of Buddhist literature. Elegantly translated and easily readable, this is a major contribution to the study and understanding of this playful and complex text for English readers.
The Language of the Sūtras explores the narrative strategies of Buddhist sūtras, as well as ways of reading them, that reveal their transformative dimensions. By attending to the language of the sūtras and how they are told, the essays gathered in this volume open new fields of study for individual sūtras, while developing more general approaches to reading these texts for a scholarly audience.
Edited by Natalie Gummer, whose own work on the performative and ritual enactment of sūtra texts informs many of the contributions to this volume, The Language of the Sūtras honors the enduring legacy of Luis Gómez as teacher and interpreter of Buddhist texts. Essays by renowned scholars and former students of Gómez follow his example of close reading. In addition to a characteristically original essay by Gummer herself, the volume contains contributions from Eviatar Shulman, Richard Nance, Bruno Galasek-Hul, David Fiordalis, Xi He, Shenghai Li, and Alan Cole, along with a preface by Charles Hallisey. The book should be of interest to all students of the Buddhist sūtras. Published October 2021.
Buddhist Spiritual Practices is a collection of integrated essays that applies Pierre Hadot’s well-known approach to philosophy to Buddhist thought. Hadot maintained that philosophy in the Hellenistic period was understood as a form of spiritual practice—a guide to a way of life. These essays, written by prominent Buddhist scholars, demonstrate that Buddhist philosophy can fruitfully be analyzed in line with Hadot’s insights, and that doing so can contribute to contemporary discussions of the purpose of education and the role of spirituality in philosophical discourse. A must read for anyone interested in the current state of philosophy and Buddhism’s place within the academic curriculum. It will also appeal to historians, students of religion, and anyone interested in the deeper aims of education. An extensive bibliography of works by and on Hadot, Buddhist sources, and other secondary literature complete the book.
David Fiordalis, the editor, is an associate professor of religion at Linfield College. In 2015, he worked with Dr. Luis Gómez, the Academic Director at Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, to organize a conference on Hadot and the study of Buddhism. He began the process of editing those essays together with Dr. Gómez, and after the latter’s untimely death, completed the volume on his own. Contributors include Steven Collins, Sara McClintock, James Apple, Pierre-Julien Harter, Maria Heim, Davey Tomlinson, and Fiordalis himself. The editor has carefully arranged the individual chapters so that they reflect and respond to each other. As a result, the book can be read as an integrated whole that makes a valuable contribution to an emerging field of study.
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