This project combines a wide geographical perspective and network dynamics applied to the circulation of Tantric Buddhist agents, texts, and icons across the maritime swathe of territory called ‘Maritime Asia’. It aims at reshaping the scholarly understanding of Buddhist Tantra as both a historical phenomenon and a dynamic discourse that was never limited to South Asia nor to Sanskrit texts. Making use of the innovative approaches promoted by recent scholarship in global and maritime history and Intra-Asian connectivity, the project will apply the geo-environmental metaphor of Maritime Asia as a heuristic device to study the emergence and circulation of Buddhist Tantra alongside the movement of human agents, texts, and artefacts across this vast yet interconnected geographical area. In so doing, it will attempt to capture the spatial, temporal, and social dynamics linking seemingly disconnected actors, geographies, objects, and discourses.
The project aims at changing how scholars of Buddhism, Tantra, and Indic religions in general understand the boundaries of their fields, both in terms of disciplinary specializations and regional foci, which still largely and strictly follow the artificial geographical borders drawn by the post-WWII Area Studies framework. No less importantly, it hopes to enrich the public’s understanding of the translocal history and multi-cultural religio-philosophical heritage of Buddhism.
Monsieur Andrea Acri (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
GREI Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris
Help of the ANR 309,168 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 42 Months