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Culture of the Book in Tibet

Schaeffer, Kurtis R.:
The culture of the book in Tibet / Kurtis R. Schaeffer. - New York : Columbia University Press, 2009. - ca. 272 S.
ISBN 978-0-231-14716-3 (Hardcover)
US$ 36,00
DDC: 002.09515
-- Angekündigt für Juni 2009 --

The history of the book in Tibet provides more than a map of literary trends and trade routes. Functioning as material, intellectual, and symbolic object, the book is an instrumental tool in the construction of Tibetan power and authority, and its history opens a crucial window onto the cultural, intellectual, and economic life of an immensely influential Buddhist society.
   Stretching from the fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries, Kurtis R. Schaeffer's meticulous study is the first book to trace this singular history. Bringing to life the scholars and hermits, madmen and ministers, kings and queens who produced Tibet's massive canons, Schaeffer shows how Tibetan scholars edited and printed works of religion, literature, art, and science and what this indicates about the interrelation of material and cultural practices. The Tibetan book is at once the embodiment of the Buddha's voice, a principal means of education, a source of tradition and authority, an economic product, a finely crafted aesthetic object, a medium of Buddhist written culture, and a symbol of the religion itself. Books were at the center of debates on the role of libraries in religious institutions, the relative merits of oral and written teachings, and the price of translated literature. Drawing on more than 150 understudied Tibetan sources, Schaeffer uses a single object to access a greater understanding of the cultural and social history of the Tibetan plateau. [Verlagsinformation]

1. The Stuff of Books
2. The Editor's Texts
3. The Scholar's Dream
4. The Physician's Lament
5. The King's Canons
6. The Cost of a Priceless Book
Epilogue: The Boy Who Wrote Sūtras on the Sky
Appendix 1. Buton Rinchendrup's Letter to Editors
Appendix 2. The Contents of the Buddhist Canons
Appendix 3. The Cost of the Canon at Derge

KURTIS R. SCHAEFFER is associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and the author of Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun and Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of an Indian Buddhist Poet-Saint.

Quellen: Columbia University Press; Blackwell Bookshop Online; Amazon (UK); WorldCat.