Tsui, Chung-hui 崔中慧 (2020) Chinese Calligraphy and Early Buddhist Manuscripts. Oxford: Indica et Buddhica.
The earliest extant Chinese Buddhist manuscript the Buddhasaṅgīti-sūtra was excavated at Toyuq in Turfan. It is dated the 6th year of the Yuankang era (296 CE) during the Western Jin Dynasty (266–316 CE). This sūtra is a copy by Zhu Fashou, one of Dharmarakṣa’s monk disciples, a distinctive scribe on the translation team. Both historical documentation and archæological findings of the period when Buddhism was initially transmitted into China demonstrate that the copying of Buddhist texts by monk scribes from Central Asia played a key role. The work of these scribes also enhanced the creation of diverse and vigorous calligraphic styles from the 3rd to 5th centuries. However, before the 20th century, early Buddhist scribes or foreign scribes were little known in the history of Chinese calligraphy, or in official records.
The discovery of the Dunhuang and Turfan manuscripts in the early 20th century provided scholars with new material with which to examine early Buddhist scribal culture. This monograph considers the culture of early sacred writing, and the role of early Buddhist scribes, scribal workshops, scriptural calligraphy, and the expertise of these early scribes, for the history of Chinese calligraphers and calligraphy.
Tsui Chung-hui 崔中慧 is an art historian teaching at the Centre of Buddhist Studies in The University of Hong Kong; Tung Lin Kok Yuen Scholar in Buddhist Art and Culture. She holds an M.A. in Chinese Art and Archæology from SOAS, University of London, and a Ph.D. on Dunhuang and Turfan Buddhist manuscripts from the Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong. Her research concerns Buddhist art, the culture and history of Dunhuang and the Silk Road, Chinese calligraphy, Buddhist manuscripts, Buddhist cave temples and cultural heritage sites. In addition to textual research, Tsui has travelled widely. She has conducted field research at Buddhist heritage sites in India, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and in many provinces in China. Tsui writes on Buddhist and Chinese art in both English and Chinese.
› University of Cambridge
› Collège de France – Bibliothèque d’études chinoises
› Universiteit Gent
› National Palace Museum Library, Taipei
› Yangzhou Museum
› The Guyuan Museum of Ningxia
› The Palace Museum, Beijing
› Wuwei City Museum
› Taitō City Calligraphy Museum, Tokyo
› Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou
› Lüshun Museum, Dalian
› Dunhuang Research Academy