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"Connections with the Divine: Religious Life in Dunhuang." BuddhistRoad Guest Lecture Series by Neil Schmid
Dunhuang caves (i.e., Mogao, Yulin, Western and Eastern Thousand Buddha Caves, and Wugemiao) together with their material culture and textual resources are fundamentally Buddhist in nature. Given that much of 21st century Chinese scholarship on Dunhuang has focused on Buddhism, this talk first examines the rich corpus of research on Buddhist texts, doctrines and ritual. Research over the past twenty years has also increasingly turned to non-Buddhist religions and practices, ranging from Syriac Christianity to Manichaeism. We then examine how at the heart of this interest is the ever-increasing contemporary Chinese focus on the Silk Road as a conduit of transmission that served to establish religious networks of exchange across Eastern Central Asia.
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