SOAS University of London

Centre of Buddhist Studies

Mahāyāna and the Precepts: Readings from the Fanwan jing 梵網經 and the Baoliangju jing 寶梁聚經 (Ratnarāśisūtra)

Toru Funayama (Kyoto University) Jonathan Silk (Leiden University)

Date: 9 December 2017Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 9 December 2017Time: 5:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: MB116

Type of Event: Workshop

9:30-13:00: Excerpts from the Fanwan jing, led by Prof. Funayama.

13:00-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-17:30: Excerpts from the Ratnarāśi, led by Prof. Silk.


Funayama Toru, born in 1961, is currently a professor of Buddhist studies at Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. His research mainly covers two different areas in the history of Buddhism. One is Chinese Buddhism from to the fifth/seventh centuries, a period from the late Six Dynasties period up to early Tang; his focuses are on the formation of Chinese Buddhist translation and apocrypha, spread of the notion of Mahāyāna precepts, the exegetical tradition on the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Mahāsūtra, and more.

The other is philological and philosophical issues in Buddhist epistemology and logic in India from the fifth/tenth centuries, particularly Kamalaśīla’s (the late eighth century) theory of perception. In both areas, he is interested in the concept of saintliness as firmly related with the system of practice.

His most recent publications included the study and edition of the Fanwang jing: Higashi Ajia bukkyō no seikatsu kisoku Bonmō kyō: saiko no katachi to hatten no rekishi 東アジア仏教の生 活規則『梵網経』─最古の形と発展の歴史 (The Scripture of the Pure Divinities' Netted [Banners] (Fanwang jing), Mahayana Code for Daily Life in East Asian Buddhism: The Oldest Form and Its Historical Evolution), Kyoto: Rinsen shoten, 2017, 528p.


Jonathan Silk, born in 1960, is Professor in the Study of Buddhism at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He studied East Asian Studies at the Oberlin College in Ohio and subsequently Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan. At the latter university he obtained his PhD in 1994 with the thesis: The Origins and Early History of the Mahāratnakūṭa Tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, With a Study of the Ratnarāśisūtra and Related Materials.

During his studies, Silk spent several years in Japan. After his PhD, he became Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa and in 1995 at the Department of Comparative Religion of the Western Michigan University. From 1998 until 2002 he taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, and from 2002 in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since 2007 he has been Professor in the study of Buddhism at Leiden. In 2010 he was awarded a VICI grant from the NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation) for the  project: “Buddhism and Social Justice.” In 2016 he was elected as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen [KNAW]). He is currently the principal investigator of the ERC Project “Open Philology,” focusing on the Mahāratnakūṭa collection.  

*The workshop is free but registration is required, and participants should be familiar with Chinese.

To register, please write to

The event is organised in collaboration with the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford (with the support of the GS Charity Foundation Limited and the Lingyin Temple).

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies

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