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Grant number: FA-55575-10

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FA-55575-10

Christian K. Wedemeyer
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)

Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: Rhetoric and Reality in the History and Interpretation of the Indian Esoteric Traditions

In this project, I address pivotal problems in the history and interpretation of the esoteric Buddhist traditions of 8th to 11th centuries India. Integrating traditional study of manuscripts with methods drawn from contemporary theory, the work addresses five contested topics: their origins, their history, the interpretation of their scriptures, their ritual practices, and the social contexts within which they flourished. In this regard, the book intervenes specifically in scholarship on one major, albeit poorly understood, tradition of Indian Buddhism. In its innovative application of contemporary critical method, however, this work makes a broader contribution to discussions of method in the history of religions and the interpretation of cultures. In particular, this work exemplifies the ways in which contemporary advances in historical and semiotical theory and traditional philological/textual study (two areas that rarely communicate) may form an integrated method in the humanities.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Nonwestern Religion

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 6/30/2010