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Sources of Tibetan Tradition

Edited by Kurtis R. Schaeffer, Matthew T. Kapstein, and Gray Tuttle

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Paper, 856 pages, Maps: 2,
ISBN: 978-0-231-13599-3
$40.00 / £27.50

March, 2013
Cloth, 856 pages, Maps: 2,
ISBN: 978-0-231-13598-6
$120.00 / £83.00

The most comprehensive collection of Tibetan works in a Western language, this volume illuminates the complex historical, intellectual, and social development of Tibetan civilization from its earliest beginnings to the modern period. Including more than 180 representative writings, Sources of Tibetan Tradition spans Tibet’s vast geography and long history, presenting for the first time a diversity of works by religious and political leaders; scholastic philosophers and contemplative hermits; monks and nuns; poets and artists; and aristocrats and commoners. The selected readings reflect the profound role of Buddhist sources in shaping Tibetan culture while illustrating other major areas of knowledge. Thematically varied, they address history and historiography; political and social theory; law; medicine; divination; rhetoric; aesthetic theory; narrative; travel and geography; folksong; and philosophical and religious learning, all in relation to the unique trajectories of Tibetan civil and scholarly discourse. The editors begin each chapter with a survey of broader social and cultural contexts and introduce each translated text with a concise explanation. Concluding with writings that extend into the early twentieth century, this volume offers an expansive encounter with Tibet’s exceptional intellectual heritage.

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About the Author

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Culture of the Book in Tibet and Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun. With Gray Tuttle, he is coeditor of The Tibetan History Reader.
Matthew T. Kapstein is director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris and Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Tibetans and The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion, Contestation, and Memory.
Gray Tuttle is the Leila Hadley Luce Associate Professor of Modern Tibet in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. He is the author of Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China and the editor of Mapping the Modern in Tibet. With Kurtis R. Schaeffer, he is coeditor of The Tibetan History Reader.

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