- This event has passed.
郝春文 Hao Chunwen – 敦煌寫本齋文的分類、定名及其文本結構 Rethinking the Structure and Typology of Liturgical Texts From Dunhuang
October 29, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
This talk will be given in Mandarin
Speaker: Hao Chunwen 郝春文, Senior Professor, Capital Normal University
This talk gives an overview of recent scholarly thinking on the typology and structure of the liturgical texts found among the Dunhuang manuscripts. We can divide the thousands of liturgical texts found at Dunhuang into two main categories: liturgical protocols (zhaiyi斋仪) and liturgies (zhaiwen 斋文). Liturgical protocols (identical to what are occasionally called ‘written protocols,’ shuyi 書儀) were used as references for drafting liturgies. Liturgies, written up on the basis of these liturgical protocols, were functional documents that were read aloud at all kinds of ritual gatherings.
We can divide the structure of a liturgy into five parts: the ‘opener’ (haotou 号头), ‘exaltation of virtues’ (tande 歎德), ‘liturgical purpose’ (zhaiyi 齋意), ‘ritual area’ (daochang 道場), and ‘adornment’ (zhuangyan 莊嚴). This structure is roughly applicable to liturgical protocols and liturgies with all manner of content, including hymns of praise, apotropaic rituals, healing rites, and mourning rites, though there are of course many variations in the specific arrangement and sequence of the parts.
This talk will also touch on the commonly used term ‘prayer texts’ (yuanwen 願文); we will suggest that this is a specific kind of liturgical text; the term cannot be used as a blanket reference to the category ‘liturgical text.’