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Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage
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.”
In: Korea: The Past and the Present (2 vols)


This essay focusses on the experience of Korean Sŏn (Chan) monks travelling to Tang China in search of the Buddhist teaching. Particular to Sŏn pilgrim-monks is the quest for ‘mind to mind transmission’, which necessitated the undertaking of a spiritual journey to China, hoping to encounter a master with the authority to transmit the teaching. Such encounters do not only cement the historical relationship between two individuals, they also serve as a proof that a given monk is capable of initiating his own (Korean) lineage of transmission. This essay presents an analysis of the salient features involved in this transmission process with a special attention to epigraphical writings.

In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
In: Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia
In: Locating Religions
In: Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia
In: Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia
In: Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia