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Faxian's Travels: A New Translation

Faxian's Travels: A New Translation

Dr Sally K Church and Dr Robert K Harding

Sculpture of a Bodhisattva at Lingyinsi (Temple of Soul's Retreat), at Feilaifeng, West Lake, Hangzhou.
Sculpture of a Bodhisattva at Lingyinsi (Temple of Soul's Retreat), at Feilaifeng, West Lake, Hangzhou.

Faxian was the earliest Chinese Buddhist monk to return to China after making the pilgrimage to India to study Sanskrit and the Buddhist faith, and collect scriptures. His journey took place between 399 and 414 CE. This new translation of Faxian’s travel account into English, prepared together with Dr Robert Harding, will be the first scholarly translation of the text into English since the pioneering versions produced by Legge and Giles in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It will make use of modern Chinese annotated editions of Faxian's text as well as archaeological evidence from excavations along his route.