[INDOLOGY] Obituary of Prof. Duan Qing of Peking University

Lee Ling Ting let745 at mail.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 28 00:06:56 UTC 2022

Dear Members of the list, 

I’m forwarding the obituary of Prof. Duan Qing (段晴) of Peking University. The original message is found on: https://networks.h-net.org/node/6060/discussions/10013800/obituary-professor-duan-qing-段晴-1953–2022 <https://networks.h-net.org/node/6060/discussions/10013800/obituary-professor-duan-qing-%E6%AE%B5%E6%99%B4-1953%E2%80%932022> . The obituary was provided by Prof. Ye Shaoyong. 

Lee Ling

Duan Qing 段晴, Professor at the Department of South Asian Studies, 

former Head of the Research Institute of Sanskrit Manuscript & Buddhist Literature,

Peking University

May 13, 1953–March 26, 2022

Duan Qing, Professor of Indo-Iranian Studies and Boya Chair Professor of Peking University, passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Peking University First Hospital at the age of 68. A preeminent scholar and educator, Professor Duan devoted her career to the research and teaching of Sanskrit, Pali, Khotanese, Gāndhārī, among other ancient languages. She was widely recognized for her outstanding achievements in Indology, Buddhology, Iranology and the study of manuscripts along the overland Silk Roads. She trained a large number of students and contributed significantly to the development of Indian and Iranian Studies in China.

Born in Beijing in May 1953, Professor Duan studied German as an undergraduate at Peking University from 1971 to 1974. In 1982, she completed her Master’s degree in Indology under the guidance of Professors Ji Xianlin 季羨林 and Jiang Zhongxin 蔣忠新. She pursued her doctoral studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany, where she majored in Middle Iranian Studies with Professor R. E. Emmerick as her advisor. She also studied Indology and Tibetology as secondary fields under Professors L. Schmithausen and A. Wezler. After obtaining her Doctoral degree in 1986, she returned to Peking University to embark on her 35-year-long teaching career.

Professor Duan was a prolific writer. She authored several monographs in Chinese and German, including Das Khotanische Aparimitāyuḥsūtra (1986), Bonini yufa rumen 波你尼語法入門 (Introduction into Pāṇini’s System) (2001), Yutian, fojiao, gujuan 于闐·佛教·古卷 (New Finds and Findings from Khotan) (2013), Zhongguo guojia tushuguan cang Xiyu wenshu, Yutianyu juan (1) 中國國家圖書館藏西域文書·于闐語卷(一)(Xinjiang Manuscripts Preserved in the National Library of China: Khotanese Remains, Part I) (2015), Qinghai Zangyiyao wenhua bowuguan cang Quluwen chidu 青海藏醫藥文化博物館藏佉盧文尺牘 (Kharoṣṭhī Documents Preserved in Qinghai Tibetan Medical Culture Museum) (2016), Yutianyu Wugoujingguang datuoluoni jing 于闐語無垢淨光大陀羅尼經 (A Scroll of Khotanese Raśmivimalaviśuddhaprabhā nāma Dhāraṇī) (2019), Shenhua yu yishi: Pojie gudai Yutian Qushu shang de wenming mima 神話與儀式:破解古代于闐氍毹上的文明密碼(Myth and Ritual: Deciphering the Code of Civilizations on Qushu from Ancient Khotan) (2022). She also published more than one hundred influential journal articles in Chinese, English, German and Japanese.

Professor Duan was an inspiring teacher and a generous mentor to her students, colleagues, and countless others. Apart from being a highly accomplished scholar, she was also a talented dancer, an intrepid traveler, and an avid gourmet. Professor Duan Qing’s passing is a huge loss to all of us. She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by her family, friends, and colleagues around the world.

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