CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)
The two-day workshop on “Formative Exchanges in Central Asia: Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Buddhism in Contact” invites scholars to discuss issues of religious interactions between Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Buddhism in the Iranian plateau, the Indian subcontinent, and Central Asia to the end of the first millennium CE. The proposed 2018 workshop will build on the research presented at the similar 2017 workshop on “Formative Exchanges between the Sasanian Empire and Late Antique Rome.” The 2017 meeting explored the cognitive, ritual, and material scope of religions represented as “minorities” within larger ethnic and ideological landscapes, such as Christians and Manichaeans in the Persian Empire, or Manichaeans in the Roman Empire. The 2018 workshop will shift its focus eastward.
The invited scholars will investigate formative dynamics of contacts, interactions, and exchanges that took place between Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Buddhism at multiple levels: knowledge, ritual, material, and experiential. The 2018 meeting will still consider the literary and social negotiations Manichaeism and, to a limited degree, Christianity, carried with Zoroastrianism, as an imperially-mandated religion, in the Sasanian Empire, between the third and the seventh centuries. To this, the 2018 meeting will add the perspective of religious interactions across central Asia and into China, to the end of the first millennium CE as the new inquiry focus.