Buddha's Secret Library
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
8:00 PM–9:30 PM Free
A program to launch the book Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha’s Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World’s Oldest Printed Book, by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters.
When a Chinese monk broke into a hidden cave in 1900, he uncovered one of the world’s great literary secrets: a time capsule from the ancient Silk Road. Inside, scrolls were piled from floor to ceiling, undisturbed for a thousand years. The gem within was the Diamond Sutra of AD 868. This key Buddhist teaching, made 500 years before Gutenberg inked his press, is the world’s oldest printed book. Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters tell the remarkable story of how Aurel Stein, a Hungarian-born scholar and archaeologist crossed thousands of desolate miles (with his fox terrier Dash) to secure the Diamond Sutra for the British Library. The scroll’s journey—by camel through arid desert, by boat to London’s curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II—merges an explorer’s adventures, political intrigue, and continued controversy.
Author Joyce Morgan joined by Rubin Museum’s Senior Curator Christian Luczanits for a discussion of the implications of opening of the ‘Caves of a Thousand Buddhas’ at Mogao near Dunhuang, and what the future bodes for this historic site.
About the Authors
Joyce Morgan has worked as a journalist for more than three decades in London, Sydney and Hong Kong. Her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian and The Bangkok Post. She has written on arts and culture since 1994. Joyce is a senior arts writer at The Sydney Morning Herald and a former arts editor of the paper. She has also worked as a producer with ABC Radio. Born in Liverpool, England, she has travelled extensively in Asia, including India, Pakistan, China and Tibet. Conrad Walters has worked in the media for more than thirty years in the United States, where he won awards for the investigative journalism, and in Australia, where he is a feature writer and book reviews at The Sydney Morning Herald. Conrad was born in Boston, educated in Europe and the Middle East and has lived in seven countries. He has travelled widely through North America, Europe and Asia. He has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney. They live in Sydney, Australia.