The ERC-funded research project BuddhistRoad aims to create a new framework to enable understanding of the complexities in the dynamics of cultural encounter and religious transfer in pre-modern Eastern Central Asia. Buddhism was one major factor in this exchange: for the first time the multi-layered relationships between the trans-regional Buddhist traditions (Chinese, Indian, Tibetan) and those based on local Buddhist cultures (Khotanese, Uyghur, Tangut, Khitan) will be explored in a systematic way. The first volume Buddhism in Central Asia (Part I): Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage is based on the start-up conference held on May 23rd–25th, 2018, at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) and focuses on the first two of altogether six thematic topics to be dealt with in the project, namely on “patronage and legitimation strategy” as well as "sacred space and pilgrimage."
Carmen Meinert is Professor for Central Asian Religions and Principal Investigator of the ERC project BuddhistRoad at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. Her recent publications include Buddhist Encounters and Identities across East Asia (co-edited with Ann Heirman and Christoph Anderl) (Leiden: Brill, 2018).
Henrik H. Sørensen is the Research Coordinator of the ERC project BuddhistRoad at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. His recent publications include "Buddhist Pilgrimage and Spiritual Identity: Korean Sŏn Monks Journeying to Tang China in Search of the Dharma" in: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia, ed. Ann Heirman, Carmen Meinert, and Christoph Anderl (Leiden: Brill, 2018).
Illustrations and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Introduction—Piety, Power, and Place in Central and East Asian Buddhism Carmen Meinert and Henrik H. Sørensen
Part 1: Patronage and Legitimation
1 Who Is Legitimating Whom? On Justifying Buddhism’s Place in the Body Politic Sem Vermeersch
2 Images of Patronage in Khotan Erika Forte
3 Uyghur Royal Patronage and the Buddhist Legitimation Yukiyo Kasai
4 Donors and Esoteric Buddhism in Dunhuang during the Reign of the Guiyijun Henrik H. Sørensen
5 The Formation of Tangut Ideology: Buddhism and Confucianism Kirill Solonin
Part 2: Sacred Space and Pilgrimage
6 From Padmasambhava to Gö Tsangpa: Rethinking Religious Patronage in the Indian Himalayas between the 8th and 13th Centuries Verena Widorn
7 Sacred Space in Uyghur Buddhism Jens Wilkens
8 Pilgrims in Old Uyghur Inscriptions: A Glimpse behind Their Records Simone-Christiane Raschmann
9 Looking from the Periphery: Some Additional Thoughts on Yulin Cave Max Deeg
10 Creation of Tantric Sacred Spaces in Eastern Central Asia Carmen Meinert
All interested in dynamics of inter-cultural encounter and Buddhist transfer in pre-modern Eastern Central Asia.