Hello I thought I post this because I found it while searching for something totally different. It might be useful for a monastic. I didn’t read it. Just sharing to Sangha.
Thanks for sharing. And it’s excellent to see that diplomatic editions are being made.
For those not familiar with the terminology, a “diplomatic” edition has nothing to do with diplomacy. It’s simply an edition that aims to faithfully represent a specific physical witness, i.e. a manuscript. A “critical” edition—again, nothing to do with being “critical” of things—takes all or a representative sample of manuscripts and subjects them to scrutiny, assembling “one text to rule them all”.
Typically in Buddhist studies our printed or digital editions are quasi-critical editions. They are assembled from a variety of sources, yet have not bee subject to truly detailed critical process. I believe that, in the field of Pali studies, the pursuit of a critical edition is a waste of time and resources. The quantity of manuscripts is too large, the corpus too vast, and the scholars underqualified and thin on the ground. At the end of the day, you are asked to trust the scholars who did the work. But without detailed scrutiny and peer review, that is too much to ask. The decisions and judgement of modern scholars ends up displacing the witness of the tradition.
A diplomatic edition is much simpler and less resource-intensive to create. Simply read the manuscript and write down what it says. Manuscripts have flaws, but those flaws are the tradition. Embrace them!
I hope it helps monastics. Cheers