Buddhist Legends: Transmission and Transformation of Indian-Chinese Narratives on Their Way to Europe

Many European literary themes and motifs can be traced to an Indian origin. Transmitted and mediated through Buddhist narrative texts, motifs spread throughout the Near East and medieval Europe. The oldest versions of Buddhist reincarnation legends have not survived in their original Indian languages but in Chinese translation. The most important source is the Zhuan ji bai yuan jing. The project aims to translate this text into English for the first time. The themes and motifs will be indexed and compared with elements of non-Indian narratives. The editing of these previously buried themes and motifs will have manifold reverberations in the field of international folk narrative research.

Duration of Funding: 1999-2001

Prof. Konrad Meisig (Indology)
Prof. Reinhard Emmerich (Sinology, Münster)
Julian Rentzsch (Indology)

Meisig, Marion (2004): Ursprünge buddhistischer Heiligenlegenden. Untersuchungen zur Redaktionsgeschichte des 撰集百緣經 Chuan4 tsih2 pêh2 yüan2 king1. Münster 182 S. (= Forschungen zur Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte, 38)

Konrad, Meisig (Hrsg.) (2003): Buddhistisch-Chinesisches Glossar (BCG). Nach Sammlungen von Konrad Meisig und Marion Meisig. Mainz. 171 S.

Rentzsch, Julian (2003): Avadânashataka: Synoptischer Text Chinesisch-Sanskrit. Mainz. 704 S. (= Beiträge zur Indologie)

Michael, Heike: Die Sanskrit-Überlieferung des Avadânashataka: Textkritik und Stammbaum der neu gefundenen Manuskripte (Dissertation Universität Mainz).

Stachen-Rosen, Valentina und Dieter Schlinghoff (2001): Inhaltsanalysen buddhistischer Legendensammlungen. Edited and indexed by Konrad Meisig. Digitalized and extended with a name index by Eduard Pech. Book with CD-ROM. Probeausdruck Mainz, 2001, 254 S.