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"Missing Defilements, Barking Children, and Troubled Resources: Some Philological Puzzles from the Vyākhyāyukti Literature"

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Virtual Event

Please join Cornell's Society for Buddhist Studies for a virtual talk by Prof. Richard F. Nance (Indiana University).

Attributed to the great Sarvāstivādin thinker Vasubandhu, the fifth-century Buddhist text The Logic of Explication (Vyākhyāyukti) is perhaps best known today for the elegant arguments it offers against dismissing Mahāyāna traditions as insufficiently Buddhist. But to narrowly focus on these arguments is to risk missing both the text’s broader agenda and its imbrication with two additional texts that make up what has sometimes been called “the Vyākhyāyukti literature.” The effort to read these three texts together generates intriguing philological puzzles. Prof. Nance will present a few of these puzzles, and will offer tentative suggestions as to how each might be (dis)solved. Such work carries implications for how we think about the authorship and function of these texts, their transmission down through the centuries, and how we might proceed today in our own attempts to understand and explicate them.

The talk is sponsored by the GPSA-FC and the Department of Asian Studies, and is open to all interested.

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Philosophy, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, Religious Studies Program

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Erin Kotmel

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