If I, first of all, may express my gratitude to the Royal Asiatic Society for its decision to institute this lecture in memory of Paul Demiéville, please believe that this is more than a ritual gesture. He, indeed, was a person to be remembered both as a man and as a scholar. I shall not speak about his human qualities, for it is impossible to do justice to them in a few words. As a scholar, he was a man of astonishing breadth of vision, as is shown by the many different fields which he covered: Chinese philosophy, Chinese literature; historiography; Sino-Indian studies; the history of Chinese Buddhism, to mention only his main fields of interest, all of which were based on a truly stupendous erudition. For in his case breadth was always combined with depth, accuracy, and utter reliability; with the patient and painstaking labour of philology. Needless to say that, faced with the task of giving a lecture that bears his name, I feel both honoured and embarrassed, for I know that I, at best, can only do justice to one of the fields he covered, the study of Chinese Buddhism – an area in which he made bis most outstanding contributions. It is true that in doing so he worked in line with a great tradition in French sinology, alive ever since the heroic times of Stanislas Julien, that had also been carried on by his teacher Édouard Chavannes and his elder colleagues Paul Pelliot and Henri Maspero. However, it remains true that, also in this field, no other scholar has equalled Paul Demiéville in scope and depth, for his studies cover almost the whole field, from the earliest treatises on dhyāna to late Chinese Buddhist iconography; from the most sophisticated products of Buddhist philosophy to popular Buddhist literature, and from the most rational type of scholasticism to the utter irrationality of those early Ch‘an masters that were so dear to him. His works constitute a vantage-point from which we can overlook the field, and plan future inroads; and if to-day we see some new perspectives, we can only do so by standing on his shoulders.