Guest Lecture: Putting Together a Puzzle Without All the Pieces: Reading Damaged Buddhist Manuscripts

Speaker: Charles DiSimone (UGent)
When: Thursday, April 21, 2022
Venue: Auditorium 1, Jan Broeckx, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent – Ghent University

This lecture is part of Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies lecture series Permanent Training in Buddhist Studies.


In the modern world we live in one is presented with a seemingly incalculable number of books to choose from, each and every one a perfect product of precise publication parameters printed on pristine pages. For scholars it is as simple as plucking a well-edited tome off a library shelf or, even easier, pressing one’s finger over a ‘download’ virtual button to have primary source material in its original language or even a well-thought (and sometimes not so well thought) translation. These beautiful editions and translations and the studies that result from them are the products of the gritty work of scholars puzzling over various manuscript materials. This talk is designed as a sort of ‘how it’s made’ instruction and will outline the process of the philological and textual study of Buddhist manuscripts from broken artefacts in the ground to critical editions. Recent manuscript discoveries in Greater Gandhāra will serve as focus point around which the talk will revolve.


 Speaker: Charles DiSimone