The Csoma de Koros - Symposium on Tibetan, Central Asian and Buddhist Studies held at Velm near Vienna in 1981 demonstrated the quickly expanding development of the more and more differentiated field of Tibetan Studies. Alongside of the traditionally established fields of tibetological research, history, cultural history, linguistic, and literature, the new presence of research in the original theoretical contribution of the Tibetans within their religious and philosophical culture was a distinguishing feature of this conference.
That the originality of the Tibetan masters goes well beyond their fascinating achievements in Buddhist exegesis, is clearly recognized. It is the contents, variety, details and significance of their theoretical thought that are now to be defined and explained on the basis of critical philological work and historical interpretation.
Fifty-eight scholars from East and West participated in the meeting, and 48 original papers - 37 in English, 9 in German, 2 in French - are presented in the two systematically divided volumes of the proceedings. Both volumes went quickly out of print. Only the present reprint makes this recent significant step in the development of Tibetan Studies available to the general public.
About the Author:
Ernst Steinkellner is Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Vienna. His main research interests are in the Buddhist epistemological tradition and the early periods of indigenous Tibetan philosophical literature.
Helmut Tauscher is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna. His main research is devoted to the study of Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka thought.
The csoma de koros-symposium held at velm-vinenna in 1981 gives further proof of the worldwide expanding development of a more and more differentiated Tibetology. Alongside of the traditionally established divisions of Tibetological research it is the new presence of the study of the theoretical efforts and traditions within Tibetan religious and philosophy which we are temped to note as a distinguishing feature of the symposium at Velm-Vienna.
This hitherto sometimes problematic division of tibetological research is finally emerging as a valid means of approaching the specific meaning and import of Tibetan Culture. The new general accessibility of most of the important literary documents a noticeable effort to overcome the useless partiality for either an interpretation indigenous sources only and the increasing application of a critical historical methodology combined with the progress of sound philological conceptions in editorial works signify a new period of research in these studies.
That the originality of the Tibetan masters goes well beyond their fascinating achievements in Buddhist exegesis only has clearly been recongnized. But the contents variety, details, and general import of their theoretical thought are yet to be defined and explained on the basis of a philological preparation and interpretation of the sources for most of the available masters and traditions.
To render the proceedings more easily accessible to a larger public we decided to publish them systematically divided in two volumes and we gratefully acknowledge the expert advice of D. Seyfort Ruegg in this matter.
Of the papers delivered at the symposium kolmas paper was published separately ad no.9 of our series (Ferdinand Stoliczka) (1838-1874). The life and work of the Czech explorer in India and High Asia wien (1982). The papers of Csetri Finckh and the second paper of wang could not be presented at the symposium for various reasons. While some of the references in the texts of the papers are related to the time of the conference the footnotes often include references of a later date too.
We would finally like to thank prof. Wang Yao for writing the Chinese characters Ms. Monika pemwieser for the care and attentive interest with which she typed and corrected these Proceedings. Mr. Michael Egger for his share in correcting and providing the graphs, Dr. Torsteen much, Dr. Janos Sxerb and Mr. helmut Krasser for their share in Proof reading and Mr. Ernst Ecvar, our printer for his good advice and pecuniary patience.
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