Transmission of Knowledge in Tibetan and Muslim traditions

Textual transmission in Tibetan and Muslim traditions Tibetan sources: Cameron Bailey, DPhil Student, Wolfson College

Islamic sources: Belal Abo-alabbas, DPhil Student, Linacre College

Wednesday, Week 8 (11 March 2015), 17:00

Florey Room, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD.

By exploring the authority of the transmitters of knowledge, this presentation aims to introduce and compare textual transmission and biographical records in Tibetan and Muslim traditions, in order to highlight the various similarities in textual transmission works of different traditions. There are a number of Tibetan and Islamic literary genres that focus on recording transmission lineages for the primary purpose of authentication. This presentation will focus on arguably the best well known and studied (and one of the most extensive) example of a Tibetan text primarily concerned with documenting the lineage transmissions of religious teachers and their teachings, the exhaustive fifteenth century Blue Annals (Deb ther sngon po) by Go lo tsā ba (1392-1481) which records the history of the spread of different systems of Buddhist thought and practice in Tibet from India during several historical periods. From the Islamic perspective, the presentation will take as example one specific author, Al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī (d. 1071), who is one of the most notable authors in Muslim history. His fame is generally associated with his magnum opus, Tārīkh madīnat al-salām: Tārīkh Baghdād (‘The history of the city of peace, history of Baghdād’). This book provides records and biographies of any notable person who may have lived in or visited Baghdad

Presentation will be followed by a discussion. Wine will be provided, courtesy of the Ancient World Research Cluster, Wolfson College.