University of Toronto / McMaster University

CRISTINA SCHERRER-SCHAUB (Université de Lausanne)

Cristina Scherrer-Schaub is Professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (Chair E. de Boer of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies) and Directeur d’Études at the École Pratique des hautes Études (Direction of Studies in the History of Indian Buddhism). She has been Secretary General of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (2003-2010), Co-Editor in Chief of the JIABS (1999-2006), Editor in Chief of the Journal Asiatique, Paris (2000-2008) and, since 2011, she is President of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS).

READING GROUP: Tibet. An Archaeology of the Written
Thursday, February 7, 2013, 3-5 pm, UofT, JHB 317 (To obtain the reading materials please contact Christoph Emmrich at

LECTURE: Texts and Masters on the Road: from Magadha to Termez, back and forth, and beyond
Friday, February 8, 2013, 4-6 pm, McMaster, University Hall 122

The history of the Buddhist textual transmission is at once fascinating and extremely complex. It is fascinating, because it opens toward a serie of methodological issues that reveal to pose amazing challenges. It is complex because the original documents at hand are written in various scripts, composed or translated into several languages, and have been constructing their own history in different geographical and cultural contexts. As the starting point of the inquiry, these documents that, said in passing, have been in recent time increasingly surfacing in Asian countries at large, may at time, and actually do compel, demand, and need to be questioned and studied in parallel with a large variety of historical, archaeological, and artistic sources. Centering our lecture upon a relatively limited period of time (VI-VIII/IXth c. A. D.) we will try to illustrate the problematic with the help of particular cases, while questioning the methods of approach the history of Indian Buddhism, and the remote wave of its momentum in Central Asia and Tibet.