Brian Baumann (Mongolian Language Program Lecturer)
Brian holds a PhD in Mongolian Studies from Indiana University. His pursuit of Mongolian Studies stems from a two-year tenure in Mongolia with the Peace Corps, 1991-93. His dissertation concerns a specific text, a manual of Mongolian Buddhist astral science, which he transcribes, translates, and analyses in terms of the art and science to the making of an almanac and the function almanacs serve in Mongolian Buddhist tradition. Currently he is working on a book project concerning a Mongolian verse treatise on salvation in Sa skya pa tradition.
Osmund Bopearachchi (Adjunct Professor of Central and South Asian Art, Archaeology, and Numismatics)
Osmund Bopearachchi is a Director of Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (C.N.R.S), 'Hellenism and Oriental Civilisations' program (UMR 8546/5), and teaches Central Asian and South-Asian archaeology and art history at the Paris IV-Sorbonne University. Prof. Bopearachchi holds a B.A. from the University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka), a B.A. honors, (M.A.), M.Phil., Ph.D. from the Paris I-Sorbonne University, and a Higher Doctorate (Habilitation) from the Paris IV-Sorbonne University. He has published nine books, edited six books and published 130 articles in international journals. As a Trung Lam Visiting Scholar in Central Asian Art and Archaeology (2010-2012) at the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Bopearachchi is working on a new catalogue of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Coins, as well as the publication of a selection of hitherto unknown masterpieces from Gandhāra and Greater Gandhāra dispersed in museums and private collections in Japan, Europe, Canada and United States of America.
Jowita Kramer (Numata Vising Professor, Fall 2016)
Jowita Kramer completed a doctorate (Hamburg, 2004) and habilitation (Munich, 2010) in Indology. Her research focuses on Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy (with particular emphasis on the Yogācāra tradition), aspects of authorship, originality, and intertextuality in Buddhist commentarial literature, and Tibetan biographies. She has held teaching positions at the Universities of Oxford, Heidelberg and Göttingen in the past and is currently a research fellow at the University of Munich.
Pei-Ying Lin (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2016-17)
Pei-Ying Lin's research interests are Chan Buddhism, ordination rituals, Bodhisattva precepts, and Buddhist discourse on cultural identity. She studied at National Taiwan University (BA in Political Science, 2002), Cambridge University (MPhil in Oriental Studies, 2006), and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (PhD in the Study of Religion, 2012). Her thesis brought together a wide range of documents from ninth-century China, Japan and Korea, and cross-culturally examined the relationship between patriarchal lineages versus textual transmission at the early stage of the history of Chan Buddhism. Before coming to Berkeley, she was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Oxford University, East Asian Studies Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and School of History, Tel Aviv University. During her stay at UC Berkeley, she has been working on a project involving a group of eighth-century precept manuals, analyzing the doctrinal and historical connections between Chan Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism during the Tang dynasty, with a focus on the commonality of their key components of precepts and meditation. Pei-Ying Lin was the Sheng Yen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Buddhism, 2015-2016.
Ligeia Lugli (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2012-16)
Ligeia Lugli received her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of London. She has since been a Research Associate in the Department of Study of Religions at SOAS. Her research focuses on the Yogācāra view of language, but also includes includes philosophical, philological and paleographical study of Mahāyāna sūtras in Sanskrit and Tibetan. She is currently preparing a critical edition and translation of the Tathāgatācintyaguhya and collaborating with Durham University towards the creation of Śāstravid, an online resource for the philosophical and hermeneutical study of Madhyamaka.
Sanjyot Mehendale (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2008-16)
Sanjyot Mehendale received her B.A. (Art and Archaeology) from the University of Amsterdam and her M.A. (Art and Archaeology) from the Rijksuniversity of Leiden, The Netherlands. She obtained her Ph.D. (Near Eastern Studies) in 1997 from the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1997, she has been teaching on Central Asia and Silk Road art and archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. In Fall 2007, she taught "Buddhism along the Silk Road" under the auspices of the Group in Buddhist Studies. From 2001-2005, she was the co-director of the Uzbek-Berkeley Archaeological Mission (UBAM); she is currently developing a new joint archaeological project in Sri Lanka. During the same period, she was Executive Director of the Caucasus and Central Asia Program under the auspices of the Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies. Among Dr. Mehendale's main research concerns is a focus on the Kushan period, in particular on trade and cultural exchange and the relationship between Kushan kingship and Buddhist institutions. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, she has developed, in collaboration with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, a digital archive of the Begram ivory and bone carvings, which were once housed in the National Museum in Kabul, Afghanistan (www.ecai.org/begramweb). The author of several articles on Silk Road art and archaeology, she is the co-editor of Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (Routledge, 2005), and is currently working on a book on the Begram carvings. Under the auspices of the Center for Buddhist Studies, Sanjyot Mehendale serves as the program coordinator for its Silk Road Initiative.
Jan Nattier (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar (2016-2017))
Jan Nattier did her undergraduate work in comparative religion (specializing in Buddhism) at Indiana University, where she also began graduate training in the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University under the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (specializing in classical Mongolian and Tibetan). She has taught at Macalester College, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of Tokyo, in addition to serving as a member of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Soka University). Her monographs include Once Upon a Future Time: Studies in a Buddhist Philosophy of Decline (Asian Humanities Press, 1991), A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparipṛcchāsūtra) (University of Hawai'i Press, 2003), and A Guide to the Earliest Chinese Buddhist Translations (Soka University, 2008). Jan was the Numate Visiting Professor in Fall 2015.
Jann Ronis (Tibetan Language Program Lecturer)
Jann Ronis studied religion, Tibetan studies, Sinology, and the Tibetan and Chinese languages at the University of Virginia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2009 for a dissertation about developments in the monasteries of eastern Tibet, along the border between Tibet and China, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His dissertation focused on innovations in scholastics, liturgical practices, and administration spearheaded by the lamas of Katok Monastery and their widespread adoption in the region. The resulting network of monasteries represented the only significant alternative in Tibet to the model of monasticism prevalent in central Tibet and was the site of tremendous literary and artistic production. His research interests include the social histories of visionary cults, scholastic traditions, monastic reform movements, and sectarian conflicts; the philosophical and contemplative traditions of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism; and Sino-Tibetan cultural relations. During his year at Berkeley Jann is researching the twelfth and thirteenth century formation of an important ritual tradition in Tibetan Buddhism the Kagye (bka' brgyad), or Eight Dispensations in an effort to better understand the domestication of Buddhism in Tibet. The Kagye is a compendium of eight heterogeneous deity cults including deities of Indic and Tibetan origins, and supramundane and mundane statuses and Jann is exploring the innovations in narrative and ritual made by the Tibetan creators of this uniquely Tibetan pantheon.
Past Visitors and Instructors
Giulio Agostini (South and Southest Asian Studies Visiting Scholar, Spring 2009)
After completing a laurea in Classics and Sanskrit from the University of Milan, Giulio Agostini earned a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. His thesis focused on doctrinal debates about the definition of 'lay Buddhist' in ancient India. He has published on ethics and legal issues, such as the admissibility of abortion and of taking 'partial' lay vows, and on the history of exegetical disagreements between competing Buddhist traditions.
Michihiro Ama (Group in Buddhist Studies Lecturer, Fall 2007)
Michihiro Ama received his M.A. in Buddhist Studies in 1999 from Otani University, Kyoto, Japan, and a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures in 2007 from the University of California, Irvine. He specializes in Japanese Buddhism and has recently completed an in-depth study of Japanese Buddhism and modernity, colonialism, and ethnicity. He wrote an article "Shifting Subjectivity in the Translation of Shinran's Texts," for The Eastern Buddhist, n.s., 37, no. 1 & 2 in 2005, and is the guest editor of the featured articles on "Natsume Soseki and Buddhism" in the forthcoming volume (n.s. 38) of the aforementioned journal.
Stefan Baums (Group in Buddhist Studies Visiting Professor, 2011-12)
Stefan Baums was a Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley during the 2010-11 academic year. He studied Indology, Tibetology and Linguistics at the Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen; Sanskrit, Nepali and Buddhist Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; and South Asian and Buddhist Studies at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2009 for the edition and study of a first‐century Gāndhārī birch‐bark manuscript containing a commentary on a selection of early Buddhist verses. His research interests include Buddhist philology and epigraphy, the beginnings of written Buddhist literature, the interaction of written and oral modes of text transmission, the development of Buddhist hermeneutics, and the description of Gāndhārī language and literature. His current work focuses on the decipherment of two additional Gāndhārī verse commentaries, and on a comprehensive study of the historical background and exegetical principles of the group of verse commentaries and the related Gāndhārī Sangītisūtra commentary. He is the editor (with Andrew Glass) of the Dictionary of Gāndhārī.
Bryan Cuevas (Freeman Visiting Professor, 2005-06)
Bryan J. Cuevas (M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia) was a Freeman Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley during the 2005-06 academic year. He is John Priest Associate Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Florida State University, where he teaches courses in Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism, Tibetan history, language, and culture. He also serves as co-director of the Tibetan History Collections of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (http://www.thlib.org/). His research focuses on Tibetan history and historiography, including monastic politics, family-clan relations, and Buddhist popular religion within the broader context of premodern Tibetan religious culture. He is currently working on a study of Tibetan sorcery and the politics of war magic from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Recent publications include The Hidden History of the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Oxford, 2003); Power, Politics, and the Reinvention of Tradition: Tibet in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, with Kurtis R. Schaeffer (Brill, 2006); The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, with Jacqueline I. Stone (Kuroda Institute/Hawai'i, 2007); and Travels in the Netherworld: Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet (Oxford, 2008).
T. Griffith Foulk (Group in Buddhist Studies Visiting Professor, Spring 2011)
T. Griffith Foulk (M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan) was a Freeman Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley during the 2004-05 academic year and a Group in Buddhist Studies Visiting Professor in the Spring of 2011. He teaches Sarah Lawrence College, where he is Professor of Religion and recently served as Chair of the Humanities Division. In his youth he trained for several years in Zen monasteries in Japan, where he still maintains close ties. He has authored a number of monographs on textual, ritual, and institutional aspects of the history of Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen Buddhism, and is currently working on two books entitled Zen: A Lexical History and Zen Buddhism in Contemporary Japan. Professor Foulk is Co-editor-in-chief of the Soto Zen Text Project, a major translation project sponsored by the Administrative Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokyo. He is also on the editorial board of the Kuroda Institute and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. T. Griffith Foulk was also a Freeman Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley in 2004/05.
Bruno Galasek (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2014-15)
Bruno Galasek began his studies of Classical Indology, Tibetology and Indian art history in 2003 at the University of Bonn in Germany. He received extensive training in Classical Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pāli both at the University of Bonn and at Oxford University. His M.A. thesis was an edition and translation of the Tibetan translation of Prajñākaramati’s commentary on Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāraḥ Chapter III, verses 22-33. He entered the Ph.D. program of the Bonn International Graduate School - Oriental and Asian Studies (BIGS - OAS) at the University of Bonn in 2008 and received his doctorate in 2013. His dissertation focused on the narratological analysis and the interpretation of literary characters in selected suttas of the Majjhima Nikāya. He has contributed to an anthology of translations of Buddhist meditation texts in German (Meditationstexte des Buddhismus), as well as published two articles in scholarly journals. His is currently interested in breeding Buddhist literature in Pāli, Sanskrit and Tibetan with narratology. Underlying this interest is a fascination with the phenomenon of cultural transfer and translation, and with the intrinsic human quality of narrative worldmaking and understanding. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Berkeley, and is gaining experience in what lexicographers do as a postdoctoral fellow in a project called the Buddhist Translators Workbench which is located at the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages in Berkeley.
Rupert Gethin (Numata Visiting Professor, Spring 2008)
Rupert Gethin studied at the University of Manchester, where he completed his PhD concerning the theory of meditation in the Pali Nikåyas and Abhidhamma in 1987; this was subsequently published as The Buddhist Path to Awakening: A study of the bodhi-pakkhiyå dhammå (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992; reprinted Oxford: Oneworld, 2002). Since 1987 he has taught at the University of Bristol as Lecturer in Indian Religions (1987-99), Senior Lecturer in Buddhist Studies (1999-2005) and Reader in Buddhist Studies (2005-). At Bristol he has also, since 1993, been co-director of the University of Bristol Centre for Buddhist Studies. Since 2003 he has been President of the Pali Text Society. His main research interests are in the history and development of Buddhist thought and practice in the Pali Nikåyas, Abhidhamma and commentaries. He is currently working on a study of the schemes of the Buddhist path as presented in the ancient sources. His publications include: a translation of the commentary to the Abhidhammatthasagaha, Summary of the Topics of Abhidhamma and Exposition of the Topics of Abhidhamma (Pali Text Society, 2002); The Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 1998); 'Mythology as Meditation: From the Mahåsudassana Sutta to the Sukhåvatiivyuuha Suutra,' Journal of the Pali Text Society 28 (2006); 'He who sees dhamma sees dhammas: dhamma in early Buddhism,' Journal of Indian Philosophy 32 (2004); 'Can killing a living being ever be an act of compassion? The analysis of the act of killing in the Abhidhamma and Pali commentaries,' Journal of Buddhist Ethics 11 (2004).
Phyllis Granoff (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, Spring 2007)
Phyllis Granoff received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Sanskrit and Indian Studies and Fine Arts. She is currently teaching at Yale University in the Department of Religious Studies and serving as the Chair of the South Asian Studies Council. Her research interests include the development of classical Hinduism, medieval Jainism, and early Mahayana approaches to image worship.
Paul Hackett (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2005-06)
Paul G. Hackett (M.A., University of Virginia; M.L.S., University of Maryland - College Park; M.Phil., Columbia University) is on leave for the 2005-06 academic year from Columbia University, where he is completing his dissertation. Professor Hackett is author of A Tibetan Verb Lexicon: Verbs, Classes, and Syntactic Frames (Snow Lion, 2003) and is currently completing a biography of Theos Bernard. His current research interests include the formation of twentieth century American mythologies of Tibet, and late Indian Buddhist tantra.
Michael Hahn (Numata Visiting Professor, Spring 2005)
Michael Hahn was the Numata Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley during the spring 2005. A professor of Indology and Tibetology at Philipps-University in Marburg (Germany), his research interests focus on classical Sanskrit and Buddhist literature, in particular narrative works and didactic and epistolary texts. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among them a primer of the Tibetan language that been reprinted seven times and is now forthcoming in an English translation.
Jens-Uwe Hartmann (Numata Visiting Professor, Fall 2010)
Jens-Uwe Hartmann holds the chair of Indian Studies at the University of Munich. Before his appointment in 1999 he served as professor of Tibetology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Prof. Hartmanm was trained in Indology and Tibetology at the University of Munich. In 1978/79 he spent one year in Kathmandu working for the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project. His work focuses on recovering and studying the literature of Indian Buddhism, mostly on the basis of Indian manuscripts and translations of Indian Buddhist texts into Tibetan. A particular interest of recent years has been the publication of Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts found in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the 90s.
Nathan Hill (Vising Professor, Fall 2015)
Nathan W. Hill is Reader in Tibetan and Historical Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He studied at Harvard University with Leonard van der Kuijp and Jay Jasanoff. His research focuses on Old Tibetan and Trans-Himalayan historical linguistics. His publications include A Lexicon of Tibetan Verb Stems as Reported by the Grammatical Tradition (2010) and Old Tibetan Inscriptions (2009), co-authored with Kazushi Iwao. His current projects include the creation of a Tibetan diachronic part of speech tagged corpus and the search for sound laws relating Tibetan, Burmese, and Chinese.
Ute Hüsken (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2014-15)
Ute Hüsken is Professor of Sanskrit at Oslo University, where she teaches courses on religion in South Asia, Sanskrit, Pali, and ancient and contemporary Buddhism, and leads the monthly lecture series Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum (http://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/research/network/obsf/). She was educated in Indian and Tibetan studies at the Seminar für Indologie und Buddhismuskunde at Goettingen University (Germany). Her PhD thesis is an investigation of the rules for Buddhist nuns in the Theravada tradition, including a comparison with the rules for monks of the same tradition, and an analysis of Buddhaghosa’s commentary „Die Vorschriften für die buddhistische Nonnengemeinde im Vinaya-Pitaka der Theravādin“). It was published in 1997 in the series „Monographien zur indischen Archaeologie, Kunst und Philologie.“ In Berkeley Hüsken plans to work on the newly emerging Theravāda Bhikkhunī Saṃgha in the San Francisco Bay area, as part of her current project “Changing patterns of female ritual agency” (http://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/research/projects/changing-patterns/index.html).
Birgit Kellner (Visiting Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies, Spring 2008)
Dr. Birgit Kellner specializes in the history of Buddhist logic and epistemology in ancient India and Tibet. After completing her M.A. studies under the supervision of Ernst Steinkellner at the University of Vienna (Austria) in 1994, she went to Japan, where a dissertation on the knowledge of absence in Buddhist epistemological thought in India after Dharmakirti, supervised by Shoryu Katsura, earned her a PhD from the University of Hiroshima in 1999. Supported by further research fellowships from the Austrian Science Fund and the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (Germany), she carried out further research on the relationship between realist and idealist epistemologies in Buddhist thought, which is also going to be the topic of her Habilitation monograph that is currently being completed. In addition to her work on the history of Buddhist philosophy, Birgit Kellner developed and implemented several academic database projects, notably the "Indian Logic Knowledge Base", funded by the European Commission (http://www.istb.univie.ac.at/cgi-bin/ilkb/ilkb.cgi). She currently carries out a research project on the theory of reflexive awareness (svasamvedana) in Dharmakirti's Pramāṇavārttika at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies of the University of Vienna. Together with Helmut Tauscher and Helmut Krasser, Birgit Kellner edits the monograph series "Vienna Studies in Tibetology and Buddhism" (http://www.istb.univie.ac.at/cgi-bin/wstb/wstb.cgi), and together with Helmut Krasser, she acts as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies.
Christian Luczanits (Numata Visiting Professor, Spring 2010)
Christian Luczanits was the Numata Visiting Professor Spring 2010. He received his M.A. (1994) and Ph.D (1998) at the Institute of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, the latter degree under the supervision of the late Maurizio Taddei (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli). His research focuses on Buddhist art of India and Tibet. Earlier work on the western Himalayas was largely based on extensive field research and documentation done in situ. Besides numerous articles on the early Buddhist monuments, artifacts and inscriptions found in or related to this region his first book, Buddhist Sculpture in Clay: Early Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries, has come out with Serindia at Chicago in 2004. Recent research concentrated on Buddhist art immediately before and during Kushana rule. In this connection he curated the exhibition "Gandhara – the Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise" at the Kunst – und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn together with Michael Jansen and was responsible for its catalogue. Christian Luczanits also was a Freeman Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley in 2004/05.
Home page: http://web.mac.com/clucz/home/
Research website: http://www.univie.ac.at/ITBA/
Masaki Matsubara (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2009-13)
Masaki Matsubara received his M.A. in Asian Studies (2004) and his Ph.D. in Asian Religions (2009) at Cornell University. His dissertation focused on the dynamics of tradition formation, (re) invention, and maintenance, and the role of cultural memory. It considered eighteenth-century Japanese Zen master Hakuin Ekaku's neglected role as a social critic and reformer. Matsubara has published articles on Hakuin (2004) and on Yasukuni Shrine and cultural memory (2007). He also wrote an article on succession problems in contemporary Japanese Zen in a book entitled Making Japanese Heritage (forthcoming, Routledge). He is presently engaged in translating Hakuin's political treatise Hebiichigo (banned soon after its publication in 1754), comparing the four extant materials (three autographed manuscripts and one published version of an autographed manuscript) with one another. He is also an ordained priest in the Rinzai tradition.
Andrew McGarrity (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2012-13)
Andrew McGarrity (2012-13) received his Ph.D. in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy from the University of Sydney in 2008, and he has since been a lecturer there in the Department of Indian Sub-continental Studies and Buddhist Studies program, as well as having been a Numata Research Fellow at Ryukoku univeristy in Kyoto. His research and teaching areas are in Buddhism and Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit and Tibetan language study. Incorporating a general research interest in hermeneutics and conceptions of meaning, authenticity and personhood in Tradition and Modernity, his specific focus is on the History of Ideas in South Asia and Tibet.
John McRae (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2008-11)
John R. McRae, who primarily studies Chinese Chan/Zen Buddhism, did his Ph.D. under Stanley Weinstein at Yale and has taught at Cornell and Indiana universities. Currently a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo and part-time lecturer at Komazawa University in Tokyo, he will teach at Stanford during winter and spring quarters 2009.
Karma Thinley Ngodup (Tibetan Language Program, 2004-2010)
Karma was born in Tibet and grew up in India. He studied Tibetan language, history, and Tibetan Buddhism all through high school. He taught Tibetan language and history at Dehradun. He received a Master's Degree in History and Geography. He came to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship and received his third Master's Degree in Education from the University of Northern Iowa. He returned to India where he became the Director of the Tibetan Education Development and Resource Center in Dharamsala. He published many school textbooks and storybooks for primary-level Tibetan language education, and trained teachers in the use of these materials. He came to Berkeley in 2002 and has been teaching Tibetan language in the area since that time. He has also worked on the transliteration of many rare Tibetan Buddhist commentaries and has been the Tibetan Research Consultant for the Electronic and Cultural Atlas Initiatives (ECAI) at CAL. He worked on the Tibetan gazetteer project, recording information such as names, etymology, and history from the biography of great Buddhist scholar Je Tsongkhapa called Yellow Beryl [baid'urya ser po]. His focus in the Tibetan Program at CAL has been to incorporate modern language learning technology.
James Robson (Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, Fall 2008)
James Robson is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He specializes in the history of Medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism and is particularly interested in issues of sacred geography, local religious history, talismans, and the historical development of Chan/Zen Buddhism. He is the author of "Buddhism and the Chinese Marchmount System [Wuyue]: A Case Study of the Southern Marchmount (Mt. Nanyue)" in John Lagerwey, ed. Religion and Chinese Society: Ancient and Medieval China (Hong Kong: The Chinese UP and École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 2004) and "A Tang Dynasty Chan Mummy [roushen] and a Modern Case of Furta Sacra? Investigating the Contested Bones of Shitou Xiqian," in Bernard Faure, ed. Chan Buddhism in Ritual Context (London: Routledge Curzon, 2003). He is presently completing a book manuscript entitled Power of Place: The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak [Nanyue 南 嶽] in Medieval China (forthcoming, Harvard Asia Center). He has also been engaged in a long-term collaborative research project with the École Française d'Extrême-Orient studying local religious statuary from Hunan province and what they can tell us about the local religious history of that region.
Koichi Shinohara (Numata Visiting Professor, Spring 2007)
Koichi Shinohara (Bachelor of Letters and Master of Letters, The University of Tokyo, Ph.D, Columbia University) is senior lecturer of Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, where he works primarily on Buddhism in East Asia. Before coming to Yale in 2004 he taught at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. For the past several years his work has centered around the writings of an influential commentator on monastic practices and historian Daoxuan (596-677) and his collaborator Daoshi (d.u.) at the Ximingsi monastery in the capital city. In recent articles he has written on Daoxuan's discussion of the monastic robe, monk's begging bowl, image worship, and the instruction at the moment of death. He has also examined in some detail the evolution of the cult of Buddha images attributed to King Asoka and worked on Tiantai Buddhist biographies, exploring the religious and political circumstances surrounding the composition of the biography of the founding figure of the school Zhiyi (539-98) and the way lineages of abbots at local monasteries were transformed into a Buddhist universal history by 12th century Tiantai Buddhist historians. Among his current projects is the study of the cult of a deity with a terrifying appearance, Shensha or Jinja ("Deep Sand"). This cult originated in China in connection with the story of a famous pilgrim to India and later became popular in Japan, where a temple bearing the name of the deity continues to flourish outside of Tokyo.
Peter Skilling (Numata Visiting Professor, Fall 2005)
Peter Skilling is a Fellow of the Lumbini International Research Institute (Lumbini, Nepal) and a Special Lecturer at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand). He is founder of the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation (Bangkok), a project dedicated to the preservation, study and publication of the Buddhist literature of Southeast Asia. He is a founding member of the International Centre for Buddhist Studies (Bangkok). Peter Skilling has lived in Thailand for over thirty years, and has travelled extensively in Asia. His interests include the early history of religion in Southeast Asia as known through inscriptions and archaeological remains; the history of Indian Buddhism and the development of Mahayana sutras; and the Pali and vernacular literature of pre-modern Siam, including jataka and sermon genres. He has also written about the history of the Buddhist order of nuns in India and Siam and the development of the Tibetan canonical collections (Kanjur). His publications include Mahasutras, a critical edition and study of ten Sarvastivadin texts preserved in Tibetan translation in the Kanjur compared with their Pali counterparts (Vols. I and II, Oxford: The Pali Text Society, 1994, 1997; Vol. III, translations, forthcoming). Skilling is reported to be overly fond of durian. He lives in Nandapuri on the outskirts of Bangkok with a turtle rescued from the streets after a flood some years ago.
Gareth Sparham (Tibetan Language Program)
Gareth Sparham was born in Britain and studied at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics from 1974 to 1982. He earned his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of British Columbia. He lecturered at the University of Michigan before coming to Berkeley.
Musashi Tachikawa (Numata Visiting Professor, Fall 2012)
Musashi Tachikawa received his Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University and was Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology (1992-2004) and Aichi Gakuin University (2004 to 2011) in Japan. He also was a visiting professor of Buddhist studies at the University of California, Berkeley (1987), at the University of Chicago (1992) and at Leiden University, The Netherlands (2001).
Alberto Todeschini (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2011-13)
Evan Thompson (Numata Visiting Professor, Spring 2014)
Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, and from 2005-2013 was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He works primarily in the fields of cognitive science and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy of mind. He is the author of Waking, Dreaming, Being: New Light on the Self and Consciousness from Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2014), Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007), and co-author (with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch) of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1991). He also co-edited (with Mark Siderits and Dan Zahavi) Self, No Self: Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions (Oxford University Press, 2011). In 2012, Thompson co-directed (with Christian Coseru and Jay Garfield) the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer School, "Investigating Consciousness: Buddhist and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives."
Home page: http://evanthompson.me
Alberto Todeschini (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2014-16)
Alberto Todeschini after studying at the University of London and of Lausanne received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He specializes in South Asian Buddhism and is currently researching the function of dreams in Buddhism, the reception of Yogācāra Buddhism in 19th century Europe and North America, and the biography of the nun Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā. He has previously taught at University of London, at Kathmandu University’s Center for Buddhist Studies and at the University of Virginia, where he also worked for the Tibetan and Himalayan Library. He has been BDK fellow at the Research Institute for Buddhist Culture at Ryukoku University in Kyoto and visiting fellow at Kyoto University’s Institute for Research in Humanities.
Somdev Vasudeva (Center for Buddhist Studies Visiting Scholar, 2007-08)
Somdev Vasudeva received his B.A. in Sanskrit and M.A. in Prakrit from the University of London and Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. He is currently an editor for the Clay Sanskrit Library. He has published a work on Shaivite Tantric Yoga called: "The Yoga of the Malinivijayottaratantra" (EFEO /IFP Pondicherry 2004), and is currently working on Sarvastivadin literature in Sanskrit.
Stefano Zacchetti (Numata Visiting Professor, Fall 2011)
Stefano Zacchetti (1994 degree in Chinese; 1999 PhD, Venice University; further studies at Sichuan University, China, and Leiden University) was from 2001 to 2005 associate professor at the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Tokyo), and is currently a tenured lecturer (ricercatore) at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Asian and North African Studies. His research focuses on early Chinese Buddhist literature (particularly translations and commentaries), and the history of the canon. His publications include the monograph In Praise of the Light: A Critical Synoptic Edition with an Annotated Translation of Chapters 1-3 of Dharmaraksa's Guang zan jing, The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology - Soka University (Bibliotheca Philologica et Philosophica Buddhica VIII), Tokyo 2005, and several articles. For his brief but dazzling acting career in the movies, see http://www.56.com/u56/v_MzIxMjUyMzc.html