Kirill Solonin

A fresh look into the constitutive sources of Tangut Buddhism

  • Time: Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 17:00
  • Venue: Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Hollandstraße 11-13, 1020 Vienna. 2nd floor seminar room (2.25)
  • Organisation: Pascale Hugon


Throughout their history Tanguts remained ardent adepts of Buddhism. The bulk of Tangut cultural heritage consists of a variety of Buddhist artefacts, including texts, artwork and Buddhist architecture. Despite recent advances in Tangut studies, some aspects of Tangut Buddhism remain obscure. Our understanding of Tangut Buddhist history is still guided by a variety of misrepresentations, including the major one concerning the relationship between Sinitic and Tibetan traditions in Xixia. During the discussion, we will introduce briefly the major contents of Sinitic and Tibetan Buddhist traditions in Xixia, try to trace their origins, and touch upon the nature of their mutual relationship. In the course of this discussion, we will touch upon the possible pathways of formation of the so-called “Sino-Tibetan Buddhism”, and how it actually looked like. The focus will be on the teachings of the so-called “exoteric” Buddhism, which Tanguts themselves discriminated from the “esoteric” dimensions, but we will still touch upon some issues of esoteric Buddhism.


Kirill Solonin graduated from St. Petersburg University. He specializes in Buddhist history and Tangut Buddhist texts. He is currently professor in Beijing at the Institute of Chinese Classics, Renmin University of China and a collaborator in the project BuddhistRoad: Dynamics in Buddhist Networks in Eastern Central Asia 6th to 14th Centuries at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. His recent publications include the article (co-authored with Kuowei Liu) Atiśa’s Satyadvayāvatāra (Bden pa gnyis la ‘jug pa) in the Tangut Translation: A preliminary Study (Journal of Indian Philosophy 45.1 [2017], pp. 121–162).