A reconsideration of the function of Authorship in the case of Buddhist Monastic Codes
room G.H01 of the Arts Complex (entry via 7 Woodland Road)
Dr Yael Shiri, University of Bristol
Dr Benedetta Lomi, University of Bristol
The talk will focus on a slightly different reading of the role of the transmitters of the Buddhist Monastic Law Codes (vinaya). The Previous work on these historical agents usually focused on their role as "legal experts", but I will suggest that in addition we should understand this genre as formed out of a dialectical process. Since the vinaya is central to the construction of group-identity, and was shaped in view of other religious groups, it is helpful to consider the monastic transmitters' authorial function as well. I will do this by focusing on the richest Monastic Code that has come down to us—the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya—composed in India between circa the 2nd and 4th centuries CE.
My research focuses mainly on the history of ancient Indian Buddhism. More broadly, I am interested in Indian religious narratives, both literary and visual, and their function as a vehicle for ideas, a tool for religious agency, identity formation, and religious polemics. In approaching these themes my work implements philological, narratological and art historical methods. My source material is mainly in Sanskrit, Classical Tibetan and Pāli.
All are welcome!