Buddhist Studies Forum provides an opportunity for faculty, students, and participants to discuss approaches to Buddhist Studies that are as diverse as philology, philosophy, intellectual history, anthropology, art history, literary studies, and religious studies. In addition to being interdisciplinary, our lectures discuss Buddhism within a variety of geographic contexts, including South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia.


Upcoming Events

Michaela Mross, Stanford University
"Just singing:" Kōshiki in Contemporary Sōtō Zen
Monday, May 1, 2017 - 4:30pm
Room S354, CGIS South

Cosponsored by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Asia Center, South Asia Institute, Fairbank Center, South Asian Studies, Committee on the Study of Religion, and Harvard Divinity School.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Stephen Jenkins, Humboldt State University
Buddhist Stairways to Heaven
Matthew Kapstein, University of Chicago, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
The All-Encompassing Lamp of Awareness: A Forgotten Treasure of the Great Perfection, Its Authorship and Historical Significance
Ryūichi Abé, Harvard University
The Buddha and the Dragon Princess in the Lotus Sutra — For Deciphering the Devadatta Frontispiece in the Heike Tokyo Set
Jowita Kramer, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Indian Yogācāra Scholar Sthiramati and the Works Attributed to Him
Erik Braun, University of Virginia
Crossing the Dharmascape: Mindfulness and Insight Practice in Burma and America
Jason Protass, Brown University
The Poetry Demon: Tensions within Chinese Buddhist Monks’ Literature
Sara McClintock, Emory University
The Inescapability of Narrative in Philosophy — A Buddhist Perspective
Jonathan Silk, Leiden University
How to Access a Native Speaker’s Reading of Medieval Chinese: Tibetan Translations of Chinese from Dunhuang

Past Events 2015 - 16

Kim Gutschow, Williams College
The Buddha's Mother: Past and Present

Past Events 2014 - 15

Jay Garfield, Smith College
Dignāga’s Ālambana-parīkṣā: A Tale of Four Commentaries
Mark Rowe, McMaster University
From Bikers to Bodhisattvas: Female Priests in Contemporary Japan
Natasha Heller, University of California, Los Angeles
When is a Bodhisattva a Superhero?
Brandon Dotson, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, “Kingship and Religion in Tibet” Research Group
Living Sūtras and Dead Sūtras in Dunhuang
Robert Decaroli, George Mason University
Crafting the Buddha: The Development of the Buddha Image in Early South Asia

Past Events 2013 - 14

Matthew Sayers, Lebanon Valley College
Feeding the Dead: Buddhist Influences on the Tradition of Ancestral Offerings in Ancient India
Karin Meyers, University of Chicago
Free Will, Freedom, and Method in Buddhist Philosophy
Roy Tzohar, Tel Aviv University
Early Yogācāra Theory of Meaning and the Possibility of Intersubjective Discourse Among Different Speech Communities
Phyllis Granoff, Yale University
Koichi Shinohara, Yale University
Maitreya’s Jeweled Yūpa and Śākyamuni’s Nirvāṇa: A New Look at Some Gandharan Reliefs / Esoteric Buddhist Rituals, Story Literature, and Biographies
Christoph Emmrich, University of Toronto
Description, Prescription, and Memory: Reflections on Method in the Study of Ritual Manuals / Buddhist Period: Gender, Life Course, and Timing in Three Newar Menarche Manuals
Bernard Faure, Columbia University
The Hidden Face of the Sun: Ise, Amaterasu, and Uhō Dōji

Past Events 2012 - 13

Nobuyoshi Yamabe, Tokyo Nogyo Daigaku
“Qumtura Cave 75: Paintings and Inscriptions through Digital Restoration”
Pascale Hugon, Austrian Academy of Sciences Institute
"The Gatekeeper and the Ford-makers: On the Representation of the Opponent in Debate Narratives involving Sa skya Paṇḍita Kun dgaʼ rgyal mtshan (1182‒1251) and in his Philosophical Treatise"
Robert Campany, Vanderbilt University
"The Incredible Vanishing Religion: Glimmers of Buddhist Imagination from Medieval China"
Thomas Borchert, University of Vermont
“A New Buddhist Cosmopolitanism? Buddhist Pedagogical Networks and Institutions in Contemporary Asia"
Dennis Hirota, Ryukoku University
"Shinran in the Light of Heidegger"
Shayne Clarke, McMaster University

"A Muddled Mess: the Mūlasarvāstivādin Monastic Code for Nuns"

Nancy Lin, Vanderbilt University
"Complex Agencies and the Formation of Buddhist Courts in Lhasa"
Elizabeth Wilson, Miami University
“Does Mobilizing Transnational Feminist Sentiment Marginalize Asian Buddhist Women? Reflections on Twentieth-Century Buddhist Nuns’ Revival Movements in South Asia"
Christian Lammerts, Rutgers University
"Buddhist Law and the Status of Legal Knowledge in Early Modern Burma"
Eugene Wang, Harvard University
“Ritual Practice without the Practitioner: How Was That Possible?”

Past Events 2011 - 12

Almut-Barbara Renger, Freie Universitaet Berlin
"'Train Yourself to Let Go of Everything You Fear to Lose:' Cultural Transformations of Buddhism in the Contemporary West"
Felicity Aulino, Harvard University
"Merit 2.0: Politics and the Spirit of Volunteering in Thailand"
Francois Lachaud, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
"Eighteenth-Century Japanese Buddhism: Eccentrics, Connoisseurs, and Antiquaries"
Anna Grimshaw, Emory University
Talk title to be announced.
Richard Salomon, University of Washington
"Fifteen Years Later: Progress Towards Recovering the Lost Buddhist Literature of Gandhāra"
Toru Funayama, Kyoto University
“Bodhisattva Precepts (śīla) and Monastic Codes (vinaya) in Fifth-sixth Century Chinese Buddhism: With Special Reference to their Background in the early Indian Mahāyāna Tradition”
Catherine Newell, University of Pennsylvania
"Dhammakaya, Yogavacara, and the Politics of Meditation in Thailand"
Jacob Dalton, University of California, Berkeley
Talk title to be announced.
Alicia Turner, York University
"Preserving the Buddha's Teachings by Policing the Self: Moral Reform and Community in Colonial Burma"
Elizabeth Lambourn, De Montfort University
Talk title to be announced.
Oliver Freiberger, University of Texas, Austin
Talk title to be announced.
Parimal Patil, Harvard University
Talk title to be announced.

Past Events 2010 - 11

Anne Hansen, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"Painting Ethics: Love and Death in Cambodian Buddhist Visual Culture"
Daud Ali, University of Pennsylvania
"Religious and Courtly Transformations in a Medieval Buddhist Kamasutra Text"
Richard Nance, University of Indiana
“Mindsets and Commentarial Traditions among Indian Buddhists”
Ryan Richard Overbey, Harvard University
"In Search of the Dharma Master in Early Medieval China"
Elon Goldstein, Harvard University
“Contesting the Character of the Bodhisattva: Ethics and Literary Influence in Two Sanskrit Heroic Drama”
Michael Como, Columbia University
"Kitchen Gods, Gatekeepers and Ghosts in Ancient Japan"
Amanda Goodman, University of Toronto
"Enter the Mandala: Reflections on the Esoteric Visual Corpus of Late-Medieval Dunhuang"