During the past few decades, the discovery, cataloguing, and partial publication of important Tibetan manuscript collections has substantially transformed our view of the intellectual and religious history of Tibet. Important developments about which we were almost entirely ignorant only a decade ago may now be studied in detail thanks to copious newly available documentation. The present talk will review aspects of the recent manuscript finds, considering their implications for our understanding of Tibetan cultural history more generally.
Matthew T. Kapstein specializes in the history of Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet, as well as in the cultural history of Tibetan Buddhism more generally. Kapstein has published a dozen books and numerous articles, among the most recent of which are a general introduction to Tibetan cultural history, The Tibetans (Oxford 2006), an edited volume on Sino-Tibetan religious relations, Buddhism Between Tibet and China (Boston 2009), and a translation of an eleventh-century philosophical allegory in the acclaimed Clay Sanskrit Series, The Rise of Wisdom Moon (New York 2009). With Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia) and Gray Tuttle (Columbia), he has completed "Sources of Tibetan Traditions," to be published in the Columbia University Press Sources of Asian Traditions series in early 2012. Kapstein is additionally Director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.