2021 Reading Mahāyāna Scripture Conference Call for Papers

The Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University, with support from Glorisun Charitable Foundation, is pleased to invite scholars to submit paper titles and abstracts to the forthcoming conference on ‘Reading Mahāyāna Scripture,’ to be held on September 25th-26th, 2021. Our Keynote Speaker will be Prof. Paul Harrison, George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University.  

The last century of Mahāyāna Buddhism research tended to focus on its origins and history, the translation of key texts, and mapping the broad field of its religious content. While these themes are by no means exhausted and much fruitful scholarship continues to this day, such background work provides a foundation upon which further studies of Mahāyāna literature can proceed. A key element of this is the ways in which the reading of such scripture has and does take place. We therefore welcome submissions of paper proposals related to the reading of Mahāyāna sūtra, śāstra and other literature in Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan and any other classical and modern languages. This includes but is not limited to the following broad categories: 

  • Practice-oriented and scholarly modes of recitation, reading and study  
  • Orality, language and rhetoric of the texts  
  • Philological and text-historical readings  
  • Critical editing and translation as close reading  
  • Reader reception and reading communities  

Scholars at all stages of their careers as well as graduate students are welcome and encouraged to make submissions. We are presently planning on using a hybrid format of both in-person and online paper presentations pending on conditions at the time. An option for remote online presentation will remain open whatever the circumstances. Subsidies for travel and accommodation will be available.  

Paper titles and abstracts no longer than 400 words should be submitted by May 29th 2021, via this online form:

Any related correspondence or queries should be directed to: