Item Details

Aspiring Narratives of Previous Births in Written and Visual Media from Ancient Gandhāra

Issue: Vol 10 No. 1-2 (2019) Special Issue: Books as Bodies and Sacred Beings

Journal: Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/post.38201

Abstract:

A wide range of practices emerged for venerating the Buddha’s embodied presence in textual and visual relics.This article considers ways in which hagiographical narratives of previous births preserved in written and visual media may be considered as embodiments in Dharma (Dharmakāya). The study focuses on Gāndhārī Buddist manuscipts with abbreviated written summaries of narratives labeled as Avadānas and Pūrvayogas. Results of a survey of images identified as Jātakas in Gandhāran art are also integrated for a comprehensive understanding of the iconic function of rebirth narratives, which were emplaced in the sacralized landscape of the Northwest.

Author: Jason Neelis

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