CCS Noon Lecture Series. "Seals and the Sources of Chinese Buddhism"
Stamp seals, both as physical objects and especially as metaphors, are nearly everywhere in Buddhism. This is easy to understand: seals had long been central to the practices of the civilizations, Indian and Chinese most prominently, in which Buddhism took on its most powerfully influential cultural forms. In this talk I will explore the broad history of religious seal practice in which ninth and tenth century Chinese Buddhist ritualists compiled versions of a manual for the making and use of Buddhist talismanic seals found among the Dunhuang manuscripts.