People

Faculty Profiles

Patricia Berger

Patricia Berger

Patricia Berger (History of Art)
Patricia Berger, Associate Professor of Chinese Art, received her Ph.D. in the History of Art in 1980 from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1997, she served as Curator of Chinese Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and taught at Oberlin College and the University of Southern California. Her most recent book, Empire of Emptiness: Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China (University of Hawaii, 2003) deals with the 18th-century Qing court's use of Buddhist art in their relationship with Mongolia and Tibet. She also co-authored a series of exhibition catalogs on Buddhist art in China and Inner Asia, including Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawaii, 1994), Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan (Thames and Hudson, 1995), Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World (Bowers Museum, 2003), and Three Emperors (Royal Academy, London, 2006). Her current research focuses on Buddhist painting and photographic portraiture in early 20th-century China and Inner Asia. She is currently chair of the Department of the History of Art.

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Mark Blum

Mark Blum

Mark Blum (East Asian Languages & Cultures)
Mark Blum, Professor and Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Studies, received his M.A. in Japanese Literature from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies in 1990 from the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in Pure Land Buddhism throughout East Asia, with a focus on the Japanese medieval period. He also works in the area of Japanese Buddhist reponses to modernism, Buddhist conceptions of death in China and Japan, historical consciousness in Buddhist thought, and the impact of the Nirvana Sutra (Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra) in East Asian Buddhism. He is the author of The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism (2002), and co-editor of Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism (2005) and Cultivating Spirituality (2011), and his translation from Chinese of The Nirvana Sutra: Volume 1 (2013). He is currently working on completing Think Buddha, Say Buddha: a history of nenbutsu thought, practice, and culture.


Jacob Dalton

Jacob Dalton

Jacob Dalton (East Asian Languages & Cultures and South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Jacob Dalton, Associate Professor and Khyentse Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tibetan Buddhism, received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002. After working for three years (2002-05) as a researcher with the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, he taught at Yale University (2005-2008) before moving to Berkeley. He works on Nyingma religious history, tantric ritual, early Tibetan paleography, and the Dunhuang manuscripts. He is the author of The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011) and Through the Eyes of the Compendium of Intentions: The History of a Tibetan Ritual Tradition (Columbia University Press, under review), and co-author of Tibetan Tantric Manuscripts from Dunhuang: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Stein Collection at the British Library (Brill, 2006). He is currently working on a study of tantric ritual in the Dunhuang manuscripts.


Penelope Edwards (South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Assistant Professor Penelope Edwards is a cultural historian of Cambodia and Burma whose research and teaching interests include Southeast Asian modern literary and print cultures, Buddhism, gender, French colonialism, nationalism, race theory, urban studies and Chinese diaspora.


Robert Goldman

Robert Goldman

Robert P. Goldman (South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Robert P. Goldman, Professor of Sanskrit and Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies, received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (Oriental Studies) in 1971. His areas of scholarly interest include Sanskrit literature and literary theory, Indian Epic Studies, and psychoanalytically oriented cultural studies. He has published widely in these areas, authoring several books and dozens of scholarly articles. He is perhaps best known for his work as the director, general editor, and a principal translator of a massive and fully annotated translation of the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana. His work has been recognized by several awards and fellowships including election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Padmanabh Jaini

Padmanabh Jaini

Padmanabh S. Jaini (Emeritus) (South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Padmanabh S. Jaini is Professor emeritus of Buddhist Studies and co-founder of the Group in Buddhist Studies. Before joining UC Berkeley in 1972, he taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on both Buddhism and Jainism. In the field of Buddhist Studies he is particularly well known for his work on Abhidharma and for his critical editions of the Abhidharmadīpa (a Vaibhāṣika treatise), the Sāratamā (a commentary on the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā), and a collection of apocryphal Jātakas, the Paññāsa-Jātaka, that appeared in four volumes (text and translation). His collected essays have appeared in two volumes, and, recently, he has been honored by a Festschrift (2003) with contributions on early Buddhism and Jainism.


Lewis Lancaster

Lewis Lancaster

Lewis R. Lancaster (Emeritus) (East Asian Languages & Cultures)
Lewis Lancaster, a specialist in the canons of Buddhist texts, was the first student to complete the Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for 33 years, with five years as Chair. By means of a grant from the National Geographic Society, he and a group of students and faculty inventoried texts in monasteries among the Sherpa people in the Himalayas. He then began to research the problems of converting Buddhist texts from Pali and Chinese into computer format, which resulted in major CD ROM databases. That computer experience then led him to form an association of scholars called the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, which is housed on the Berkeley campus and has a thousand affiliates worldwide. He is now President at Hsilai University in Rosemead.


Gregory Levine

Gregory Levine

Gregory Levine (History of Art)
Gregory P. Levine received his B.A. from Oberlin College and PhD in the art history of Japan from Princeton University in 1997, joining the Department of History of Art that year. He has written and lectured on the art and architecture of the Japanese Zen Buddhist monastery Daitokuji, the modern construct of "Zen Art," cultures of exhibition and viewing in premodern and modern Japan, calligraphy connoisseurship and forgery, and the modern collecting and study of "Buddhist art." Among his recent published writings is "Two (or More) Truths: Reconsidering Zen Art in the West," Awakenings: Zen Figure Painting in Medieval Japan (2007) and Daitokuji: The Visual Cultures of a Zen Monastery. His current research focuses on fragments of Buddhist images within devotional and modern contexts in Asia and the West. A portion of this research will appear in an essay "Malraux's Buddha Heads" in The Blackwell Companion to Asian Art (2010). He is also at work on a book, A Long Strange Journey: Zen Art in the Modern Imagination, and an essay, "Silenced by Aesthetics? A Conjectural Poetics of Art History and Ecology." With Yukio Lippit, he is co-editor of the volume Re-Presenting Emptiness: Essays on Zen and Art (Princeton University Press, 2009).

He has taught graduate seminars on topics such as Daitokuji; Kan'ei-era visual culture; problems of portraiture in Japan; shohekiga; art forgery; iconoclasm; and fragments in art history. In fall 2008 he will lead the Judith Stronach Graduate Travel Semiinar in Art History in Japan. His undergraduate teaching includes surveys of the art and architecture of Japan; Buddhist art and architecture; and Painting and Print Cultures in Japan as well as seminars on Zen painting and calligraphy; Buddhist images in the modern/contemporary world; and the collecting of Japanese art in the West. He currently advises doctoral dissertations on topics including the Material and Visual Cultures of Sen no Rikyu; Visual Cultures of the Buddhist convent Hokyoji; and the Gutai collective.

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Eleanor Rosch

Eleanor Rosch

Eleanor Rosch (Emerita) (Psychology)
Professor Eleanor Rosch teaches in the Department of Psychology and the Program in Cognitive Science. She received her B.A. from Reed College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her research interests relevant to Buddhist Studies include: Eastern psychologies, psychologies of religion, cross cultural psychology, cognition, concepts, and psychology of causality. She has written extensively concerning implications for modern psychology of practices and concepts from Buddhism and from the contemplative aspects of Western religions.

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Alexander von Rospatt

Alexander von Rospatt

Alexander von Rospatt (South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Professor Alexander von Rospatt received his B.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 1985, and his M.A. (1988), Ph.D (1993) and Habilitation (2000) at the University of Hamburg. He specializes in the doctrinal history of Indian Buddhism, and in Newar Buddhism, the only Indic Mahayana tradition that continues to persist in its original South Asian setting (in the Kathmandu Valley) right to the present. His first book (Stuttgart, 1995) sets forth the development and early history of the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness, a doctrine that is of pivotal importance not only for the understanding of doctrinal Buddhism, but also because much of the debate between Buddhists and their Brahmanical opponents came to center on this issue. A new book manuscript deals with the periodic renovations of the Svayambhu Stupa of Kathmandu. Based on Newar manuscripts and several years of fieldwork in Nepal, he reconstructs the ritual history of these renovations and their social contexts. His current research project is on life cycle rituals of old age among the Newars. On the basis of texts and fieldwork he examines how these rites evolved differently in a Buddhist and Hindu Shaiva context.

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Robert Sharf

Robert Sharf

Robert Sharf (East Asian Languages & Cultures)
Professor Robert Sharf received his B.A. (Religious Studies) and M.A. (Chinese Studies) from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. (Buddhist Studies) from the University of Michigan. He taught at McMaster University (1989-95) and the University of Michigan (1995-2003) before joining the Berkeley faculty. He works primarily in the area of medieval Chinese Buddhism (especially Chan), but he also dabbles in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion. He is author of Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the Treasure Store Treatise (2002), co-editor of Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context (2001), and is currently working on a book tentatively titled How to Read a Zen Koan. Robert Sharf is the D.H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies. In addition to his appointment in EALC he serves as Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies and Director of the Group in Buddhist Studies.

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Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams (Emerita) (History of Art and South & Southeast Asian Studies)
Professor Joanna Williams received her Ph.D at Harvard (Fine Arts) in 1970. Her research interests include both South Asian and Southeast Asian art. She has written extensively on Gupta India and Orissa, and she has written several articles on art in Indonesia, an area that continues to interest her. Her courses have covered ancient Indian art, the Hindu temple, Indian miniature painting, and the arts of Southeast Asia. One recent book was The Two-headed Deer: Illustrations of the Ramayana in Orissa. Her most recent project was an exhibition of the court and rural paintings of Rajasthan (Kingdom of the Sun: the Arts of Mewar. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 2007).