There are many people of various stripes that I need to thank for all their support and assistance over the long haul.

In the realm of academia, I have to thank Charles Lachman for introducing me to Baodingshan and the innumerable questions surrounding Buddhist art and Amy McNair for pushing me to ask even more questions. Kyoko Tokuno and Dan Stevenson for keeping me solidly on a Buddhist path when I was tempted to wander too far off. Stephen Teiser for being a good sport about my alternative readings of the site, and Tom Suchan and Henrik Sørensen for sharing their research with me along the way as well as extra copies of hard-to-find primary texts. Li Fangyin and the Dazu Academy of Rock Carvings for including me in conferences and providing access. Our newest colleague in the Sichuan Buddhist art field, Phillip Bloom, must be thanked in advance for any photos of his that might inadvertently show up here. Dick Bodman, my colleague at St Olaf College, is owed a huge debt of gratitude for polishing my translations of classical Chinese prose and for making the task of translating the later secular works more pleasurable than it otherwise would have been. Numerous other friends, colleagues and family deserve my gratitude as well and it is to them that I dedicate all the good merit that will come from people visiting this site!

In the realm of technology, I have to thank my undergraduate student workers, Brian Strand, Seth Ellingson, Dillon Davis, Kim Henze, Nick Nooney and Tram Pham whose willingness to work with my digital naivete really knows no bounds. Without their assistance, Baodingshan would still be innumerable photos, slides and digital files scattered across harddrives and desk drawers. Thanks also to Hikari Sugisaki for her artistic hand and Ruoyang Wang along with Keyu Yan who helped to make this website truly bilingual. Many thanks to Nancy Aarsvold, Ben Gottfried and Jason Menard for leading the IT staff and offering a slew of practical suggestions along with a critical eye.

Funding for this website comes from the Mellon Foundation Digital Humanities initiative at St Olaf College.

Permission to use any of the images or texts found within this website for educational purposes is granted as understood within fair use. Reproduction of the original text translations must be appropriately credited to Karil Kucera. Use of the original photography for non-educational purposes or in “for-profit” circumstances  is not allowed except by permission.

Contact: Karil Kucera –