Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet

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The study of the rise and institutions of the Tibetan empire of the seventh to ninth centuries, and of the continuing development of Tibetan civilization during the obscure period that followed, have aroused growing interest among scholars of Inner Asia in recent decades. The six contributions presented here represent refinements in substance and method characterizing current work in this area. A chapter by Brandon Dotson provides a new perspective on law and divination under the empire, while the post-imperial international relations of the Tsong kha kingdom are analyzed by Bianca Horlemann. In “The History of the Cycle of Birth and Death”, Yoshiro Imaeda’s investigation of a Dunhuang narrative appears in a revised edition, in English for the first time. The problem of oral transmission in relation to the Tibetan Dunhuang texts is then taken up in the contribution of Sam van Schaik. In the final section, Matthew Kapstein and Carmen Meinert consider aspects of Chinese Buddhism in their relation to religious developments in Tibet.
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Biographical Note

Matthew T. Kapstein is Director of Tibetan Religious Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris) and Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Chicago. His most recent book is The Tibetans (Oxford 2006).
Brandon Dotson is Lector in Tibetan at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). His recent articles concerning the Tibetan imperial succession and attendant social issues appear in Journal Asiatique and Journal of the International Association for Tibetan Studies.

Readership

Tibetologists, as well as scholars of pre-modern Inner Asia and Buddhist Studies.

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