Alexander O. Hsu
- University of Chicago
What are Buddhist anthologies, and what kind of work do they perform on Buddhist texts and their traditions? In my dissertation, I investigate the composition and copying of a seventh-century Chinese Buddhist anthology called _A Grove of Pearls from the Garden of Dharma (Fayuan zhulin)_ as a case study. I hypothesize that _A Grove of Pearls_ can profitably be imagined as a textual trace of what I call “practices of scriptural economy,” a mode of interpreting the written Dharma wherein Chinese Buddhist scholars reduced and re-organized multitudes of Buddhist scriptures to a supposedly more efficacious format. In tracing how Chinese Buddhists cut, collected, and copied scripture, I make clearer how they engaged with scriptural material and the difficulty of its abundance.