Contributions on Tibetan Language, History and Culture: Contributions on Tibetan and Buddhist Religion and Philosophy

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Author: Mark Tatz
Date: July-September 1997
Publisher: American Oriental Society
Document Type: Book review
Length: 879 words

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This reprint of the proceedings of the third meeting of the Csoma de Koros Symposium, held at Velm, Austria, in September of 1981, consists of forty-eight papers by invited participants, including five by Tibetans. The diversity of the subjects addressed gives proof of the "worldwide expanding development of a more and more differentiated Tibetology" - especially, as the editors also point out in their preface, the study of philosophical developments within the monastic traditions of Tibet. (The table of contents' entry indicating that volume two has its own preface is an error.)

These two volumes also establish the status of English as the lingua franca of Tibetology - part of the legacy of Csoma himself. Though it is the native language of only a minority of contributors, thirty-seven of the articles are in English. An additional nine are in German, and two are in French.

Articles devoted specifically to "Tibetan Religion and Philosophy" draw entirely from monastic scholasticism. Other, rich sources of Tibetan religio-philosophic thought and practice are not as well represented. This collection of papers is remarkable in at least one respect: in only three contributions do we see retrogression to the old use of Tibetan as a "crib" for the original (lost) Sanskrit (as T. V. Wylie put it, with reference to the work of E. Conze...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A20417974