Orality, Literacy, and Agency in Buddhist Book Worship

When and Where

Friday, November 19, 2021 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Alexander O'Neill, Department for the Study of Religion


Discussant: Srilata Raman, Department for the Study of Religion • Chair: Christoph Emmrich, Director, Centre for South Asian Studies

This colloquium opens a dialogue on themes related to the Buddhist practice of book worship. It centres around themes of orality, literacy, the agency of objects, and manuscripts in South Asia. In its relation to Buddhist book worship, it aims to consider to what extent Mahāyāna Buddhist book worship is in any way unique. In this manner, it considers connections with Theravāda textual practices, as well as non-Buddhist practices from South Asia involving the Śaiva Āgamas, Pāñcarātra Śāstrapīṭha worship, and the purāṇas.

Alexander James O’Neill is a PhD Candidate at the Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for South Asian Studies. His research focuses on Newar Buddhism of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, and Mahāyāna Buddhist texts and rituals. His research interests include paratexts, book worship, ritual studies, and agency. He is set to defend his thesis, entitled "Pustaka Pūjā: A Study of Sūtra Worship in Mahāyāna Buddhism," at the end of November.

→ Register here


A Centre for South Asian Studies, Asian Institute, Doctoral Candidate Public Lecture