LIAS alumnus Dr Ruixuan Chen awarded Ernst Waldschmidt Prize
Dr Ruixuan Chen, an alumnus of the LIAS and now assistant professor in Buddhist Studies at Heidelberg, has been awarded the Ernst Waldschmidt Prize. The award ceremony is postponed due to the pandemic and will take place in Berlin presumably in early 2021.
Dr Chen is awarded this prestigious prize in 2020 because of his doctoral dissertation “The Nandimitrāvadāna: A Living Text from the Buddhist Tradition”, supervised by Prof. Jonathan A. Silk and defended in 2018. This dissertation offers the first monographic study of the textual sources of the Nandimitrāvadāna, an Indian Buddhist narrative which has become the foundational, authoritative text for the cult of the sixteen Arhats prevailing in Central Asia and East Asia.
Ernst Waldschmidt (1897–1985) was a world-renowned German Indologist and the doyen of Turfan Studies (Turfanforschung) in Germany. He studied Sanskrit at Kiel (E. Sieg) and Berlin (H. Lüders), where he also learned Tibetan (A.H. Francke) and Chinese (O. Franke). From 1929 he was curator at Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin, from 1934 also Professor in the same institution. From 1936 he was Professor ordinarius in Indology at Göttingen until his retirement in 1965.
The Ernst Waldschmidt Prize is awarded by the Stiftung Ernst Waldschmidt together with the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz for outstanding contributions to research in the field of Indology, in particular in Waldschmidt’s areas of specialization (i.e., Buddhism and Indian and Central Asian archaeology and art). It is awarded every five years, aimed particularly at promoting early-career researchers in this field in Germany.