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The Avadānaśataka and the Kalpadrumāvadānamālā: What should we be doing now?

  • 불교학리뷰
  • Abbr : Critical Review for Buddhist Studies
  • 2019, (25), pp.47-77
  • DOI : 10.29213/crbs..25.201904.47
  • Publisher : Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Buddhist Studies
  • Received : February 20, 2019
  • Accepted : April 7, 2019
  • Published : April 30, 2019

David V. Fiordalis 1

1Linfield College

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The study of the Avadānaśataka was placed upon a firm philological foundation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but more manuscripts have since become available, prompting questions about the history of this Buddhist narrative collection. The present article mainly considers what new light one such manuscript, Nepal German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP) MS E-1554/24, may shed upon this history and other issues related to the study of this work. It argues that evidence remains inconclusive for establishing the hypothesis that NGMPP E-1554/24 is the direct source for Cambridge University Library (CUL) MS Add 1611, the primary witness for the principal modern edition of the work, but the essay also engages a series of broader questions about how we use manuscripts, what questions those manuscripts can answer, and how scholars interested in Buddhist narrative literature could best spend their time. It calls for scholars to direct efforts toward making works of Buddhist narrative literature like the Avadānaśataka and the Kalpadrumāvadānamālā more widely accessible, and establishing the intertextual relationships between them and other works of Buddhist narrative literature. This will require a compete new translation of the former, an edition and translation of the latter, and indeed a reconceptualization of the task at hand.

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