Current Research at the KC-TBTS
The “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource” (ITLR)
The “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource” (ITLR) is meant to serve as an integral component of the KC-TBTS. It is envisioned as a digital (online) reservoir, which will be developed over a longer period of time and will include the following information—in each case together with primary- and secondary-source authentication:
- Sanskrit (including Buddhist-Hybrid Sanskrit or Middle Indic) lexical items (or phrases), technical terms, and names (of persons, places, works, etc.)—with particular emphasis on Buddhist termini—together with corresponding attested Tibetan translation(s)
- Etymologies and explanations of individual entries, as offered in Indian and Tibetan sources
- The metonyms of the lexical items, technical terms, and names along with attested Tibetan translations of them
- Enumerative categories and sub-classifications in Sanskrit and Tibetan
- Modern renderings where applicable
- References to discussions of lexical items, technical terms, or names conducted in modern academic works
Ever since the establishment of the Khyentse Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship (KC-TBTS), it has never lost sight of three of its main objectives and activities namely, (a) to train students to investigate Tibetan Buddhist texts using historical-philological tools and techniques, (b) to promote and establish cooperation between the Center and international institutions and scholars, particularly from the target regions (Tibet/China, India, Nepal, and Bhutan), and (c) to develop and support research projects with a focus on Tibetan Buddhist textual studies. The three-year project “Academic Research Program Initiative” (ARPI), funded by the Khyentse Foundation, is a direct outcome of the workshops conducted in South Asia by the Center since it foundation.
Scholars & Scribes: Leveraging Computerized Tools for Navigating an Uncharted Tibetan Buddhist Philosophical Corpus
A collaborative project between Tel Aviv University (TAU), The Blavatnik School of Computer Science, and Universität Hamburg (UHH), Asien-Afrika-Institut, the Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, financed by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF). The aim is to develop a codicological and paleographical scheme based on bKa’-gdams material with its distinct dBu-med script including its various subtypes, with the main aim to enable identifying “joins” of separated fragments, dissolved and scattered collections, and stray manuscripts and xylographs, and to develop open-source software and digital tools that will be put at the disposal of the community of scholars of Tibetan Buddhist scholarship for the study of any Tibetan written material.
A Canon in the Making: The History of the Formation, Production, and Transmission of the bsTan 'gyur, the Corpus of Treatises in Tibetan Translation
Funded by the DFG
The main subject matter of this project is the study of the history of the formation, production, and transmission of the bsTan 'gyur from the early stages, which took place in sNar thang monastery at the beginning of the 14th century, to the later stages, which are reflected in the five available bsTan 'gyur editions. The project also aims at contributing to the better understanding of the role of editors in the three levels of formation, production, and transmission concerning Buddhist corpora within the Tibetan cultural sphere, and it is intended to be carried out on two levels: bibliographical and historical.
gSung-rten: A Glossary of Technical Terms of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist Textual and Book Cultures
“gSung-rten” is a collaborative research project of the Khyentse Center and is devoted to the collection, documentation, investigation, and explanation of mostly traditional Tibetan technical terms dealing with Tibetan paleography, codicology, and philology or textual scholarship. Its database is planned to include (a) technical terms relevant to Tibetan paleography, codicology, and philology, (b) relevant textual passages, (c) bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and (d) images of physical objects, when applicable and feasible.