The Diamond Sutra: A Story of Printing, Piety, and Preservation on the Silk Road

June 5, 2016

Susan Whitfield, the director of the International Dunhuang Project, took the audience on a journey of exploration of the many facets of the Diamond Sutra (a sacred Mahayana Buddhist text), which dates from 868 and is the world's oldest dated complete printed book. Found in Cave 17, also known as the Library Cave, it was one of a cache of some 40,000 objects that were sealed up for a millennium before their rediscovery in the 1900s.

About the Presenter

Susan Whitfield is curator of Central Asian Manuscripts at the British Library and director of the International Dunhuang Project, an initiative to conserve, catalogue, digitize, and research archaeological material from the eastern Silk Road. Her main research interests are social and intellectual history and the historiography of China and the Silk Road/Central Asia in the first millennium CE. Her publications include Life Along the Silk Road; Dunhuang Manuscript Forgeries; Aurel Stein on the Silk Road and most recently Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road. She is co-author of Cave Temples of Mogao at Dunhuang.

This lecture series was made possible by the generous support of Mr. Andrew Cherng and Dr. Peggy Cherng, the Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.

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This lecture complemented the exhibition, Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road.