Cluster Leader: Jiang Wu, University of Arizona

This cluster investigates the ways in which reading and writing the religious book in East Asia structured and defined communities of real or imagined readers, and how the economic and technological dimensions of the production of texts affected and even created communities and institutions. We plan to compile annotated bibliographies of rare Buddhist and related sources after the tenth century in neglected archives and libraries in Beijing, Shanghai/Hangzhou, Sichuan, Kunming, Xi’an, Fuzhou in China and Nagasaki, Kyoto, and Tokyo in Japan. Priority will be given to public and private collections which have not yet been cataloged in comprehensive rare books bibliographies, especially to prints and manuscripts with marginalia (writings in the margin) and damaged by heavy usage. Examples of such collections include but do not limit to Mount Jizu collection in Yunnan, inscriptions and stele in Sichuan, Gushan monastic collection in Fuzhou, and Manpukuji archive in Kyoto. We plan to start this cluster project in the summer of 2019 and in the sixth year (2022), we plan to organize a conference on “Reading, Writing, and the Formation of Textual Communities in East Asian Religions” based on field research. The digital form of the completed bibliographies will be contributed to and disseminated through the “From the Ground Up” project database and CBETA. Printed versions will be available on demand.

Read report on 2021 online workshop.