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Research Projects

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The Story of Story in Early South Asia: Character and Genre across Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Narrative Traditions

This new three-year project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will begin in January 2013. James Hegarty and Naomi Appleton will be exploring how and why similar characters, lineages and genres are used across the three religious traditions of early India. [Project webpage]

Text, Translation, and Interpretation of the Early Krishna Story: the Cardiff Harivamsha Project

This project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will run in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies from October 2011 to September 2014. Simon Brodbeck and Will Johnson will produce an English translation of the Sanskrit Harivaṃśa as critically reconstituted in 118 chapters by P. L. Vaidya in 1969. They will investigate the text-critical method used to reconstitute the text: how suitable is it for the Harivaṃśa, and what is the status of the critically reconstituted version? They will also attempt to reevaluate the relationship between the Harivaṃśa and the Mahābhārata.

History of Genealogy: Genealogy of History: Family and the Narrative Construction of the Significant Past in Early South Asia

James Hegarty and Simon Brodbeck drew this AHRC-funded project to a close in 2011. The various outputs have included a public lecture, performance event and workshop, and culminate in a special issue of Religions of South Asia. [Project webpage]  [Project blog] 

Karma and Rebirth in Buddhist and Jain Narrative

Funded by her British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009-12), Naomi Appleton has been working on a project investigating multi-life stories in early Buddhist and Jain texts. For a full description of the project as well as annotated bibliographies of her sources please see the [Project webpage] .

LIRI project on the Sitātapatrādhāranī

Max Deeg is working on a Lumbini International Research Institute project together with Dr. Tibor Porcio, Szeged, on the Sitātapatrādhāranī. They are creating a synoptical edition of all the available versions in Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan and Uigur, with Prof. Deeg responsible for the Sanskrit and Chinese part.

A Thai Life of the Buddha: A study of a rare Buddhist manuscript held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford

In February 2011 Dr Naomi Appleton was awarded a British Academy Small Research Grant to fund a study of Bodleian Library MS Pali a 27 R, an illustrated Thai Buddhist manuscript from the late 18th century. She carried out this project in collaboration with Prof. Toshiya Unebe (Nagoya University, Japan) and Dr. Sarah Shaw (Oxford University) and the resulting book - 'Illuminating the Life of the Buddha: An Illustrated Chanting Book from 18th Century Siam' - will be published by Bodleian Libraries in 2013. [Project webpage] 


Several translation projects are being undertaken by CHRA members:

  • Naomi Appleton, with Sarah Shaw of Oxford University, is working towards a translation of the final ten birth stories of the Buddha (the Mahānipāta of the Pāli Jātaka book) for publication by Silkworm Press.
  • Max Deeg is putting the final touches to his English translation of Xuanzang’s travelogue.
  • Simon Brodbeck and Will Johnson are working towards a translation of the Harivamsha as part of their AHRC-funded project (see above).



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