Upcoming CHWH-Events:




It is our great pleasure to announce that CIRDIS' “Bon-Project” has been approved by the FWF (Austrian Science Fund).

Quick facts:
Director and Coordinator: Prof. Deborah Klimburg-Salter
Principal investigator: Prof. Charles Ramble (CRCAO, Paris)
Project members: Kami Gurung, Uwe Niebuhr, Jürgen Schörflinger
Start: 2nd half of 2012
Funding period: 3 years


Recent Events:


Lecture: Charles Ramble (École Pratique des Hautes Études) [28|06|2013]

Invitation Ramble

"Understanding the motif of mirror-imagery in Tibetan cultural representations: how useful is Perspectivist theory?".
Friday, June 28th 2013. Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Apostelgasse 23, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

Download: Invitation Ramble [PDF]


Lecture: Chizuko Yoshimizu (University of Tsukuba) [14|06|2013]

Invitation Yoshimizu

"Transmission of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and the Prasannapadā to Tibet from Kashmir ".
Friday, June 14th 2013. Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Apostelgasse 23, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

Download: Invitation Yoshimizu [PDF]


National Research Network sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund
The Cultural History of the Western Himalaya from the 8th Century (S98)

Project Director: Univ.-Prof. Deborah Klimburg-Salter (Prof. for Asian Art History, Department of Art History, University of Vienna)

The project is sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and consists of the following subprojects: Coordination (Univ.-Prof. D. Klimburg-Salter), Art History (Univ.-Prof. D. Klimburg-Salter), Tibetan Manuscripts (Prof. H. Tauscher), Tibetan Inscriptions (Dr. Kurt Tropper), Philosophy (Doz. Dr. H. Krasser), Pre-Islamic Numismatic-History (Doz. Dr. M. Alram), CHIS (Prof. K. Kriz).

The cultural features of Western Himalaya

The four great cultures of Asia – China, India, Persia and Tibet – converge in the Western Himalaya. Trade and pilgrimage routes from the Mediterranean to the China Sea and the Indian Ocean traversed this region. These corridors of communication connected far flung centers and thus over the millennia provided exchanges and contributed to common features despite great ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. Among these, a prominent role was played by Buddhism that from its original birthplace in India spread over a vast territory and, although not uprooting the multiplicity of religions and cults flourishing in the region, provided a unifying link, at the same time producing a great impact on social and political institutions, at least until the 15th century when Islam came to the fore.

These rich and manifold cultural contexts are disappearing, in a process that becomes increasingly destructive. Documentation is a constructive answer, especially when considered in a broader cultural and political perspective. At various moments in the last centuries of the 2nd millennium C.E., the region served as an arena of conflict between the great European powers – the term “the New Great Game” refers to the revival of traditional geo-political concerns and conflicts in this area. Thus an increased understanding of the distinctive cultural history of the region, particularly from the crucial period of cultural change and state formation from the 8th to 13th century, will bring a far more differenciated understanding of the cultural problems that have radiated from these regions and affect global stability today.