Robert Mayer

Position:

University Research Lecturer

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Wolfson College

Email:

robert dot mayer at orinst dot ox dot ac dot uk

Research Interests:

  • Early rNying ma tantric tradition
  • rNying ma’i rgyud ‘bum (NGB)
  • Textual scholarship
  • Dunhuang tantric texts
  • Tibetan ritual
  • Tibetan phur pa (kīla) traditions

Current Projects:

  • Authorship, originality and innovation in Tibetan Scriptural Revelations:  A case study from the Dudjom Corpus (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell, and contributions from Janet Gyatso, Sara Jacoby, Matthew Kapstein, Jonathan Silk, Lopon P. Ogyan Tanzin, Antonio Terrone, Vesna Wallace)
  • A Comparative Study of the Earliest Bon and Buddhist Phur pa traditions (AHRC)

Courses Taught:

  • Early Tantric Traditions in Tibet
  • Early Bon Tantric Literature (Ka ba nag po)

Recent Publications:

Monographs:

  • 2012 (with Cathy Cantwell) A Noble Noose of Methods, the Lotus Garland Synopsis: A Mahāyoga Tantra and its Commentary, Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press.  (Output of our AHRC project, A Critical Edition of the Thabs-kyizhags-pa padmo 'phreng-ba and a Comparative Study of its Commentary, 2006-2010.)
  • 2008 (with Cathy Cantwell) Early Tibetan Documents on Phur pa from Dunhuang. Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. ix, 228 pages (A4 sized), plus digital images of original manuscripts on cd.
  • 2007 (with Cathy Cantwell) The Kīlaya Nirvāṇa Tantra and the Vajra Wrath Tantra: two texts from the Ancient Tantra Collection, Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. vi, 289 pages, plus editions of texts on cd (529 pages).

Edited volumes:

  • 2013, ed, with Christoph Cüppers and Michael Walter. Tibet after Empire. Culture, Society and Religion between 850-1000. Lumbini International Research Institute, Lumbini.

Forthcoming Books and Monographs:

  • (with Cathy Cantwell, Geoffrey Samuel, and P. Ogyan Tanzin) The Seed of Immortal Life: Contexts and Meanings of a Tibetan Longevity Practice.
  • (with Cathy Cantwell) The Black Pillar. The Root Text of the Bon Phur pa Tradition. Brill, Leiden.

Electronic Publications:

  • kīli kīlaya:  discoveries and research hypotheses in Tibetan Buddhism from the Oriental Institute   http://blogs.orient.ox.ac.uk/kila/
  • (with Cathy Cantwell and Michael Fischer) The Rig'dzin Tshe dbang nor bu Edition of the rNying ma'i rgyud 'bum: An Illustrated Inventory, CSAC (University of Kent) in association with The British Library (2002-3). Over 1600 pages, http://ngb.csac.anthropology.ac.uk/Title_page_main.html.; in process of being revised and re-published at Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL), University of Virginia.

Book Chapters and Journal Articles:

  • 2013 (with Cathy Cantwell) ‘The mythologisation of Padmasambhava in post-Imperial Tibet’. in  Cüppers, Mayer and Walter, eds,  Tibet after Empire. Culture, Society and Religion between 850-1000, Lumbini International Research Institute, Lumbini.
  • 2013 (with Cathy Cantwell).  ‘Neither the same nor different: The Bon Ka ba Nag po in relation to contemporaneous rNying ma Phur pa texts’, in Scribes, Texts, and Rituals in Early Tibet and Dunhuang, eds. Dotson, Iwao, and Takeuchi. Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • 2011 (with Cathy Cantwell) “The Dunhuang ‘Phags pa thabs kyi zhags pa padma ‘phreng gi don bsdus pa’i grel pa Manuscript: a Source for Understanding the Transmission of Mahāyoga in Tibet. A Progress Report.” In Imaeda, Kapstein and Takeuchi, eds., New Studies of the Old Tibetan Documents: Philology, History, and Religion. ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
  • 2010c (with Cathy Cantwell) "The creation and transmission of a textual corpus in the twentieth century: the 'Chi med srog thig", in Chayet, Anne (et al., eds), Edition, éditions. l’écrit au Tibet, évolution et devenir. Indus Verlag, München.
  • 2010b (with Cathy Cantwell) "A Dunhuang Phurpa Consecration Rite: IOL Tib J 331.III's Consecrations Section", in Matthew Kapstein and Sam van Schaik (eds) Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang,  Brill, Leiden.
  • 2010a (with Cathy Cantwell) “Continuity and Change in Tibetan Mahāyoga Ritual: Some Evidence from the Thabs zhags Manuscript and other Dunhuang Texts.” In Tibetan Ritual, edited by Jose Ignacio Cabezon. New York, Oxford University Press
  • 2009b (reprint of 2008a) (with Cathy Cantwell) "Enduring myths: smrang, rabs and ritual in the Dunhuang texts on Padmasambhava", in Pommaret, Françoise and Jean-Luc Achard (eds) Tibetan Studies in Honor of Samten Karmay, Amnye Machen Institute, Dharamsala.
  • 2009a (with Cathy Cantwell) ‘A Noble Noose of Methods, the Lotus Garland Synopsis: Methodological Issues in the Study of a Mahāyoga Text from Dunhuang’, in Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS), Issue 5, December 2009. 51 pages.
    http://www.thlib.org/collections/texts/jiats/#jiats=/05/mayer/
  • 2008c (with Cathy Cantwell) "The Dunhuang Phur pa Corpus: A Survey", in Almogi, Orna, ed. Contributions to Tibetan Buddhist Literature. PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006. Beiträge zur Zentralasienforschung 14. Halle: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (pp. 248-276)
  • 2008b (with Cathy Cantwell) "Why did the Phur pa tradition become so prominent in Tibet?" in Almogi, Orna, ed. Contributions to Tibetan Buddhist Literature. PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006. Beiträge zur Zentralasienforschung 14. Halle: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (pp. 277-314).
  • 2008a (with Cathy Cantwell) "Enduring myths: smrang, rabs and ritual in the Dunhuang texts on Padmasambhava", in Pommaret, Françoise and Jean-Luc Achard (eds) Tibetan Studies in Honor of Samten Karmay, Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines (Langues et Cultures de l'Aire Tibétaines, CNRS, Paris), Vol.15, November 2008: 289-312.
  • 2007 "Asuras' Caves in Buddhism, and some other themes in early Buddhist tantras reminiscent of the later Padmasambhava legends", Issue 3 of Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies,
    http://www.thlib.org/collections/texts/jiats/#jiats=/03/mayer/.
  • 2006c Textual Criticism of the Rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum Tradition. In Tibetan Buddhist Literature and Praxis, Ron Davidson and C. Wedemeyer (eds), Brill, Leiden: 95-121.
  • 2006b (with Jean-Luc Achard, Cathy Cantwell, Michael Kowalewski) "The sGang steng-b rNying ma'i rGyud 'bum manuscript from Bhutan", Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines (Langues et Cultures de l'Aire Tibétaines, CNRS, Paris), Special Edition, Vol.11, June 2006. ISSN:1768-2959.
  • 2006a (with Cathy Cantwell) "Two Proposals for Critically Editing the Texts of the rNying ma'i rGyud 'bum", Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines (Langues et Cultures de l'Aire Tibétaines, CNRS, Paris), Vol.10, April 2006: 56-70.

Further Info:

Website:

http://blogs.orient.ox.ac.uk/kila/

AHRC Projects designed, managed and conducted with Cathy Cantwell, 1999-2010
(combined value approx. £1.5 million):

  • Authorship, originality and innovation in Tibetan Scriptural Revelations:  A case study from the Dudjom Corpus (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell, and contributions from Janet Gyatso, Sara Jacoby, Matthew Kapstein, Jonathan Silk, Lopon P. Ogyan Tanzin, Antonio Terrone, Vesna Wallace)
  • A Comparative Study of the Earliest Bon and Buddhist Phur pa traditions (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell, and Jean-Luc Achard and Ven. Tenpa Yungdrung)
  • A Critical Edition of the Thabs-kyi zhags-pa padmo 'phreng-ba and a Comparative Study of its Commentary (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell)
  • Longevity Practices and Concepts in Tibet (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell, Geoffrey Samuel and Lopon P. Ogyan Tanzin)
  • A Detailed Study of the Complete Dunhuang Phur-pa materials (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell)
  • Beginning ‘Ancient Tantras’ text restorations: critical editions and studies of two seminal early Tibetan scriptures (AHRC, with Cathy Cantwell)
  • Representing and enacting knowledge about producing Tibetan text-critical editions (AHRB, with Cathy Cantwell & Michael Fischer)
  • Fully descriptive analytic catalogue of the Waddell Manuscripts NGB, including its miniature paintings & other artwork (AHRB, with Cathy Cantwell, Michael Fischer, and the British Library)