This long-term project is investigating historical and philosophical aspects of the scholarly traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, also in consideration of transcultural connections, especially with South Asia. Owing to the recent recovery of a vast corpus of early philosophical works, a much deeper understanding of the formative period of Tibetan scholasticism (11th to 13th centuries) is now possible. This corpus also provides indispensable touchstones for fully appraising the subsequent Tibetan Buddhist philosophical tradition, as well as Tibetan intellectual history in general.

Studies within this overarching project address the constitution of the Tibetan philosophical corpus (translations and indigenous works) as well as early Tibetan developments in the fields of Madhyamaka and of epistemology and logic. The aim of the ERC-funded project “The Dawn of Tibetan Buddhist Scholasticism (11th-13th c.)" is to examine seminal features of the early Tibetan scholastic toolkit and related scholastic networks.

Related publications

  • Hugon, Pascale, Enclaves of Learning, Religious and Intellectual Communities in Tibet: The monastery of gSang phu Ne’u thog in the early centuries of the Later Diffusion of Buddhism. In: Eirik Hovden, Christina Lutter and Walter Pohl (eds.), Meanings of Community Across Medieval Eurasia – Comparative Approaches. Leiden/Boston, 2016: Brill (Brill’s Series on the Early Middle Ages, vol. 25), pp. 289–308 (DOI: 10.1163/9789004315693_014). PDF.
  • Hugon, Pascale, and Kevin Vose, Unearthing the Foundations of Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy. In: P. Hugon and K. Vose (eds.), Tibetan Scholasticism in the 11th and 12th Centuries – Contributions to a panel at the XVth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Atlanta, 23‒28 June 2008. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 32 (2009) [2010], pp. 237‒248. PDF.


Charting the works in the bKa’ gdams gsung ’bum

Research: Pascale Hugon, Kazuo Kano (Komazawa University, Tokyo)

Running period: since 2018

This collaborative project with Prof. Kazuo Kano aims at a descriptive catalogue of the works available as facsimiles in the bKa’ gdams gsung ’bum, a collection of more than 500 texts by bKa’ gdams pa scholars that was published between 2006 and 2015. The detailed description of these items, as well as e-text fragments (Wylie input) are made available online on the webpage "A gateway to early Tibetan scholasticism." Another part of this subproject involves the investigation of the introductory and closing sections of each work. These are being critically edited and translated into English.