Lewis Rosser Lancaster’s vision led to the establishment of the Group in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. The Group continues today as one of the most important programs for the academic study of Buddhism. Lancaster’s dissertation on the Chinese translations of the 8,000 Line Perfection of Wisdom sutra informed the program with a strong philological emphasis, and a focus on the detailed understanding the historical development of a text and the comparative study of different versions. His scholarly projects have included the creation of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue, which continues to serve as an important tool for research into the Buddhist canon. This work also relates to the contributions he made to Buddhist studies by bringing greater scholarly attention to Korean Buddhism. Much of his recent efforts have been devoted to integrating the power of data search procedures into the study of the history of the canon. These efforts include a challenge to traditional views of texts as self-contained autonomous entities with a clear and identifiable history. Instead texts emerge as events, that is, as nodes in networks, ones that have complex interconnections with one another.
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