Thursday April 18, 2019, 5pm
370 Dwinelle Hall
In this talk, I will introduce a suite of computational tools for the analysis of Chinese Buddhist texts that I have developed together with Jamie Norrish. I will also describe an application of the tools, and associated philological methods to handle the data they generate, to the analysis of problems of style and ascription in the translation corpus of the group centering on Dharmarakṣa 竺法護 (fl. ca. 265-308), arguably the most important translation group in China down to its time. This case study is intended in part as a methodological exercise, that is, as proof of concept for the tools and methods in question. I will also argue that it has the potential to significantly change our understanding of the history and shape of the Chinese Buddhist canon in the early period.
About the Speaker:
Michael Radich is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He has authored two monographs: How Ajātaśatru Was Reformed: The Domestication of ‘Ajase’ and Stories in Buddhist History (Tokyo 2011), and The Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra and the Emergence of Tathāgatagarbha Doctrine (Hamburg 2015). In 2019, he will be spending a semester at Stanford as Shinnyo‑en Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies.