Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Review of Buddhism and Empire: The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet, by Michael Walter
Sam van Schaik, The British Library
JIATS, no. 6 (December 2011), THL #T5723, pp. 467-471
Notes

Notes

[1] As R. A. Stein before him, Walter also points to non-Buddhist religious influences on early Tibetan culture (see for example 235-36, on “Hindu” influences).
[2] The warning of Louis de la Vallée Poussin, who studied the manuscripts in London during the First World War, might have been better heeded:

To sum up, I am certainly not tempted to overestimate the importance and antiquity of the present collection. It was natural that the discoveries in Central Asia should have been greeted with enthusiasm, and their linguistic and archaeological interest is in fact enormous; but there is no reason why everything from Central Asia should be very interesting (Louis de la Vallée Poussin, Catalogue of the Tibetan Manuscripts from Tun-Huang in the India Office Library [London: Oxford University Press, 1962], xvii-xviii).

One recent general study of early Tibetan history that does incorporate this new understanding of the manuscripts’ chronology is Matthew Kapstein, The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).
[3] Walter cites Jacob Dalton, Tom Davis, and Sam van Schaik, “Beyond Anonymity: Paleographic Analyses of the Dunhuang Manuscripts,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 3 (December 2007): 1-23, http://www.thlib.org?tid=T3106. See also my forthcoming study “Towards a Tibetan Paleography: A Preliminary Typology of Writing Styles in Early Tibet,” in Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field, ed. Jörg Quenzer and Jan-Ulrich Sobisch (Berlin: de Gruyter, forthcoming).
[4] In spite of this statement, Walter does use some of these documents in his arguments later in the book, but only insofar as they are embedded in the work of previous scholars.
[5] These manuscripts have been most closely studied by Tsuguhito Takeuchi. His discussion of Tibetan military organization based on these sources is in “The Tibetan Military System and Its Activities from Khotan to Lop-Nor,” in The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith, ed. Susan Whitfield (London: The British Libray, 2004), 50-56.
[6] See Geza Uray, “Notes on a Tibetan Military Document from Tun-Huang,” Acta Orientalia 12, nos. 1-3 (1961): 223-30. Walter’s discussion of göndgon and pong’phongs is on 228. See also F. W. Thomas, Tibetan Literary Texts and Documents Concern Chinese Turkestan, Part II: Documents (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1951), 67-71.
[7] On this manuscript, see Tsuguhito Takeuchi, Old Tibetan Manuscripts from East Turkestan in the Stein Collection of the British Library, vol. 2 (London: The British Library, 1998), no. 152.

Note Citation for Page

Sam van Schaik, “Review of Buddhism and Empire: The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet, by Michael Walter,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): , http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5723 (accessed ).

Note Citation for Whole Review

Sam van Schaik, “Review of Buddhism and Empire: The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet, by Michael Walter,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): 467-471, http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5723 (accessed ).

Bibliography Citation

van Schaik, Sam. “Review of Buddhism and Empire: The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet, by Michael Walter.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 6 (December 2011): 467-471. http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5723 (accessed ).