Zhouyang Ma F'20

Zhouyang  Ma
Doctoral Candidate
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2020
Doctoral Candidate
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University
Inner Asian Buddhist Revolution: The Rise of Tibetan Buddhism in the Tangut Xia State

My dissertation addresses one of the most significant histories of Buddhism in China and Inner Asia, namely the rise of Tibetan Buddhism in the Tangut Xia State (1038–1227) during the 12–13 centuries. In the formation of an integrative Inner Asian history, Tibetan Buddhism claimed its presence for the first time in a non-Tibetan state that practiced Sinitic Buddhism before, thus bringing about a series of innovative linguistic, intellectual, and institutional practices and laying down the foundation for the later Sino-Tibetan Buddhist complex. This project examines a large corpus of thus-far unstudied Buddhist texts written in Tangut script excavated from Khara-Khoto, including Buddhist ontology, epistemology, and historiography. This project, in general, contributes to our understanding of one of the remarkable Buddhist movements in history.