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Dynamics of Text Corpora and Image Programs

Representations of Buddhist Narratives along the Silk Route

The network of long distance trade routes through Central Asia designated by Ferdinand von Richthofen as "Silk Road" have provided the settings of religious transfer and reception processes of unprecedented historical importance. Accordingly, textual and pictorial finds (mainly Buddhist and Manichaean materials) have been subject to numerous studies. The associated dynamics of religious change and the underlying complex interactions between different media, however, remain far from having been exhaustively researched.

Based on Buddhist textual and visual representations of narratives about the different lives of the Buddha (especially avadānas and jātakas) from Gandhara, Bamiyan, Khotan , Kucha, Turfan and Dunhuang dating from the 3rd to 10th  century, case studies will trace the importance of the interaction of text corpora and image programs in religious contact. In this effort, both the inner logics of these transfer processes and their conditions within as well as repercussions upon the religious field and other social contexts will be taken into account.


2010 - 2012

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