Di Castro & Templeman (eds), Asian Horizons (2015)

AsianHorizons1000519-3-2Angelo Andrea Di Castro and David Templeman (eds). Asian Horizons: Giuseppe Tucci’s Buddhist, Indian, Himalayan and Central Asian Studies. Serie Orientale Roma CVI / Monash Asia Series. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, April 2015. xxvi+613 pp. AUD$99. ISBN (pb): 978-1-922235-33-6; (epub): 978-1-922235-34-3.

Contributors …… vii

Preface …… xi

Introduction …… xix


Gustavo Benavides. Giuseppe Tucci, Anti-Orientalist …… 3

Francesco D’Arelli. A Glimpse of some Archives on Giuseppe Tucci’s Scientific Expeditions to Tibet: 1929–1939 …… 16

Ruth Gamble. The problem with folk: Giuseppe Tucci and the transformation of folksongs into scientific artefacts …… 45

Alex McKay. ‘A very useful lie’: Giuseppe Tucci, Tibet, and scholarship under dictatorship …… 68

Francesco Sferra. The ‘thought’ of Giuseppe Tucci …… 83


Giovanni Arca. Reaffirming the ‘origins’ of Mahāmudrā …… 113

Greg Bailey. The implication of Giuseppe Tucci’s work for epic and Purāṇic studies …… 175

James Barry. Merchants, mercenaries and monarchs: Christians in Safavid Iran …… 184

Zoreh Baseri. A survey of Sassanian Seals …… 197

Claudio Cicuzza. The Bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi’s Laghutantraṭīkā and the rotation of yoginīs: Structure of the maṇḍala and dynamic motion …… 216

Chris Clark. Nibbāna as the Fruit of Meritorious Deeds in the Apadāna …… 235

Diana Cousens. Mapping the Buddhist Sacred Status of Triloknāth …… 247

Angelo Andrea Di Castro. Goat heads and goddesses in Swāt, Gandhāra and Kashmir and connected problems …… 269

Peter Friedlander. The Theory and practice of the Mandala: Ritual and identity in the Kabir Panth …… 302

Andrew McGarrity. Philosophical reasoning and spiritual practice: Giuseppe Tucci on Buddhist philosophical systems …… 319

Christine Mathieu. The story of Bon in the Naxi Dongba religion …… 354

Isabella Ofner. Under the female gaze: Isabella Bird’s travels among the Tibetans …… 415

Iain Sinclair. The Creation of Theism Personified: A Conceptual History of the God-Maker Avalokiteśvara …… 437

David Templeman. Revising Tucci‘s 16th–17th century: New data on Tibet‘s Civil War (1603–1621) …… 485

David Thomas. Google Earth™ @ Ghazni …… 501

Alathea Vavasour. Rediscovering rainbow colour in the textile aesthetic of Bhutan …… 536

Dennis Walker. The classical Arabs’ thought, Bayazid Al-Ansari (1525–1572) and his mystical work Maqsud al-Mu‘minin: Mysticism and Sunni orthodoxy in the Pakhtun zone …… 554

Tanya Zivkovic. Cultures of the Body: Medical Pluralism, Bacteria and Tibetan Refugees …… 595

6 Replies to “Di Castro & Templeman (eds), Asian Horizons (2015)”

  1. A wonderful book but from what I can tell it’s the most expensive paperback published by Monash Uni Press. Given that postage from Australia is outrageously expensive, I wonder how many people will end up obtaining a copy – especially scholars residing in the sub-continent? It would have been nice if the editors had insisted on an open access publication as some of Monash University Press’ other authors have done. Cf. http://publishing.monash.edu/open-access.html

    1. While I can’t speak for the editors, I understand that the book was some time in the making, and involved several parties. That might have ruled out open access. Another factor is that people who study texts – again, speaking from my own experience – prefer to read writing on paper, not the screen, whenever they can arrange it. As for being affordable for the subcontinent, that’s an old and widespread problem, largely out of the hands of most publishers, who have to make ends meet in the West.

      1. All valid points but it doesn’t explain the exorbitant price point for a paperback book from a non-commercial university publisher that prices pretty much all of its paperbacks at around the $40 mark – including Dr Templeman’s recently edited volume on Tibet. Maybe if the book had been published by LIRI it would have been out sooner, be priced more affordably and be more accessible to scholars who reside in Asia. I guess it’s just a shame because it makes the essays far less likely to be read (unless the authors of the essays breach copyright and post their own work on Academia.edu) – which kind of defeats the purpose of publication in the first place…

  2. The book is finished to an editorial and typesetting standard that you would be very lucky to find in a South Asian publisher these days. I don’t have any sense that the book is overpriced, either in a country where $70,000 is considered an average salary or in the market at large. There are plenty of people in Asia who can afford books like this, believe me.

  3. I think that used to be the case I.S. but I recently obtained the latest copy of the LIRI conference series no. 6 (the conference was only held in 2013 and already published!) which was immaculately edited and finished with many colour photos and durable glued binding all for a cheeky US$35 + postage. Cf. http://bhavyatva.tumblr.com/post/108115574180/liri-seminar-proceedings-series-6-new

    I agree with Dr Wujastyk’s previous comments on the Indology list. Where possible scholars should avoid supporting publishers and arrangements that preclude open source publishing or charge exhorbitant prices. Even if we need hardcopies, we could follow the example of our fellow Australian John Hill who just published the massive 2nd edition of his study on the Hou Han Shu 後漢書 via an independent publishing platform for ~$50 per set.

    Btw, I don’t know what circles you move in but I don’t know many people professionally engaged in the study of this field who are on $70K p/a… I think in an era where libraries are reluctant to buy the (expensive) hardcopies that scholars need, we really should be trying to make these kinds of volumes more accessible to those who can’t afford a $100 paperback book if we possibly can.

    1. Editors have little or no input into publishers’ pricing and, as I must now repeat myself to say, the choice of publisher for a proceedings volume rarely extends to anyone anywhere. According to the ABS, $74,724 is currently the average wage in Australia, regardless of “the circles” I move in. Don’t worry about India – it can afford nuclear weapons, so it can afford books. If this continues to concern you, talk about it with the publishers, not here.

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