CRCAO / News

Early Tibetan Religious Networks: New Perspectives on the phyi dar

July 10 2023 - July 11 2023 - Seminar

The so-called “later transmission period” (phyi dar, 11th –13th c.) was a time of efflorescence during which many religious traditions and institutions were initiated. The religious landscape was dotted with local religious communities that gathered around charismatic teachers, had ties with the local nobility, or were organised in early forms of monastic settlements. They transmitted many different forms of practice and ritual procedures, in lineages of transmission that often intersected to create a dazzling network of mutual relationships. Indeed, at this time, religious identities were fluid, and individuals travelled widely to train in distinct practices under the most renowned masters of the time. In this eclectic and dynamic environment, some institutions and teaching traditions emerged that were to survive for centuries, eventually becoming the backbone of the major Tibetan Buddhist “schools”, while others declined, were marginalised, and disappeared.

Considering data from a wide range of textual materials alongside archaeological and art historical evidence we hope to advance our understanding of the pre-sectarian environment of this period, and on the process of the “invention of traditions, and start mapping anew the religious landscape of the time.

For further information please contact the conveners:

10-11 July 2023

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

IBZ Internationales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft München

Amalienstraße 38


Monday, 10 July

13:30              Registration

14:00              Welcome by the conveners

Cultural History of the phyi dar: Textual and Visual Sources (Chair: Vincent Tournier)

14:20-15:00    Reinier Langelaar , The Early Bloom of Buddhist Historiography

15:00-15:40     David Pritzker, Form and Function: The Interplay between Text and Performance in Early Phyi dar Historiography (online presentation)

Coffee break

16:10-16:50     Yannick Laurent, Avalokiteśvara: Reflections on Artistic Practices and Devotion during the Later Dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet

16:50-17:30    Amy Heller, Reflections on the rigs gsum mgon po in the phyi dar

Tuesday, 11 July

Building Institutions, Building Traditions: Regional and Trans-regional Networks (Chair: Dorji Wangchuk)

9:20-10:00       Ulrike Roesler, Yogis, Monastics, and Monastic Yogis: Bka’ gdams pa and Vinaya Networks in Central Tibet

10:00-10:40    Kirill Solonin, Tibetan Buddhism among the Tanguts

Coffee break

11:10–11:50    Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, The Kusāli Yogi as an Element of Tradition Building Among Early Kagyüpas

11:50-12:30     Jim Rheingans, The “Eight Dohā Treasuries” (Dohā mdzod brgyad): A ‘Gray Text’ Collection from the 12th Century and its Reception as an Example for the Building and Vanishing of Traditions


Scholarly Networks: Glimpses of the Intellectual History of the phyi dar  (Chair: Petra Maurer)

14:00-14:40     Pascale Hugon, Exploration of the 11th-13th-century Scholastic Landscape in the Project TibSchol – Roadmap, Initial Steps, Dead-ends, and Open Avenues

14:40–15:20    Orna Almogi, Rong zom pa Chos kyi bzang po’s Intellectual Network: A Historical and Text-based Survey

15:20-16:00    Marta Sernesi, Gampopa’s Kadampa Teachers and Teachings

16:00-16:30    Roundtable discussion & closing remarks