Show cover of The Buddhist Studies Podcast

The Buddhist Studies Podcast

In-depth explorations into the field of Buddhist Studies. Featuring candid conversations and interviews with scholars of Buddhism across the disciplines of Religious Studies, Indology, Art History, South Asian Studies, Anthropology, and more. Hosted by Dr. Kate Hartmann.


10. Rebecca Bloom | How Art Challenges and Enriches Understandings of Buddhism
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Rebecca Bloom about her beginnings as a scholar and curator of Himalayan Buddhist art history, the meaning of "art" in a Buddhist context, and why she thinks studying art history is valuable for people interested in Buddhism. She also gives a behind-the-scenes look at how museum curators organize exhibitions, and talks about why she loves this kind of work. We also preview her upcoming online course, BS 109 | Introduction to Buddhist Art, which will explore these issues in more depth!Speaker BioDr. Rebecca Bloom is Diane P. Stewart Assistant Director, Curatorial Affairs at the Southern Utah Museum of Art. She is a scholar and curator who specializes in Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist material culture, and issues surrounding the intersection of religion and museums. She holds a BA in Art History and Religion from Middlebury College, an MA in Asian Religions from Yale Divinity School, and she recently received her PhD from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies.Dr. Bloom began her career at the Rubin Museum of Art, where she curated and co-curated more than a dozen exhibitions of Tibetan and Himalayan art, as well as contemporary and historical photography. At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, she co-curated a multi-year exhibition of Buddhist art entitled Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia, for which she designed the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room and created the related app, Sacred Spaces. Assembly of the Exalted: The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room, coauthored with Donald S. Lopez, Jr., focuses on the shrine’s history and its objects. Dr. Bloom also contributed to a multi-disciplinary project dedicated to the pilgrimage of the eighth-century, Korean monk, Hyecho. The project produced two apps, a website, and a book that each explore the world of Buddhism Hyecho encountered on his journey, with special attention paid to Buddhist material culture.Links discussed in episode BS 109 | Introduction to Buddhist ArtThe Rubin MuseumHimalayan Art Assembly of the Exalted: The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine RoomEncountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across AsiaTibetan Buddhist Shrine Room
61:58 07/25/2022
10. Stephen Jenkins | Understanding the Role of Compassion in Buddhism
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Stephen Jenkins about his beginnings as a scholar of Buddhism, his research on the place of compassion in Buddhism, and how he thinks this fundamental idea has been overlooked in many contemporary discussions of Buddhism. Plus, we discuss the relation between compassion and wisdom, the role of imagination in Buddhist practice, and the reasons Buddhist traditions argue that compassion benefits the practitioner!We also preview Dr. Jenkins' upcoming online course,  BSO 108 | Buddhism and Compassion, which will history and development of this key idea in Buddhist thought and practice. Speaker BioDr. Stephen Jenkins is Professor of Religious Studies at Humboldt State University. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1999. Much of his career has been spent in Asia serving study abroad programs in India, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Japan. His research has been primarily focused on Indian Buddhist concepts of compassion, their philosophical grounding, and their ethical implications. LinksBSO 108 | Buddhism and Compassion
71:22 06/21/2022
9. Daniel Cozort | Should Buddhists Care About Climate Change?
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Daniel Cozort about his path to Buddhist Studies, research on Buddhist philosophy, and adventures in Buddhist ethics. We discuss the question of whether and how Buddhists might address contemporary issues like climate change. Are these topics that Buddhists should be concerned about? How have Buddhists in the past approached issues of environmentalism? Does the Buddha himself say anything about the environment? What resources in the Buddhist tradition can help address these problems, and what work remains to be done? We also preview his upcoming online course, BSO 107 | Buddhism and Climate Change, which addresses all of these issues at greater length.Speaker BioDaniel Cozort is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He retired from Dickinson College in June 2021, having taught for 37 years in many areas, but specializing in Tibetan Buddhism. A native of North Dakota, Dr. Cozort graduated from Brown University, where he focused on Christian theology and ethics but encountered Buddhism through the Providence Zen Center. At the University of Virginia, as a student of Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins, he began his study with Tibetan lamas. He did a year of fieldwork in India, traveling broadly and staying in Tibetan monasteries.In his teaching career, he created over forty courses, but he also curated art exhibits, directed study abroad programs in South India and in England, and made a film about sand mandalas. He is the author of six books, including Highest Yoga Tantra, Buddhist Philosophy, and Unique Tenets of the Middle Way Consequence School, as well as book chapters and articles. For thirteen years, he was the Editor of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics. His most recent book is the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics (2018), and he recently published an article in Lion’s Roar titled “​​Ten Years After My Accident”. He is currently compiling a new sourcebook for courses on Buddhism and climate change.LinksBSO 107 | Buddhism and Climate ChangeFaculty Page Highest Yoga Tantra, by Daniel CozortBuddhist Philosophy by Daniel CozortUnique Tenets of The Middle Way Consequence School by Daniel CozortJournal of Buddhist Ethics (open access academic journal) Green Buddhism by Stephanie KazaDharma Rain by Stephanie KazaInterview with Frans de Waal"Principles and Poetry, Places and Stories: The Resources of Buddhist Ecology" by Don Swearer
84:59 05/18/2022
8. Aleix Ruiz-Falqués | Studying Pali, the Language of the Earliest Buddhist Canon
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Aleix Ruiz-Falqués about his beginnings as a scholar of Pali, his research into Pali grammar, and how reading Buddhist texts in original languages can help us appreciate them in a new way. We discuss common questions about Pali, such as: what are the differences between Pali and Sanskrit? Did the Buddha speak Pali? Why study Pali?  We also preview his upcoming online course, PALI 101 | Elementary Pali, which will explore these issues in more depth!Speaker BioDr. Aleix Ruiz-Falqués is Head of the Department of Pali and Languages at the Shan State Buddhist University, Khyentse Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies, and Lecturer of Pali at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.He teaches graduate courses in Pali language and literature in Taunggyi, Myanmar. Aleix completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2016, under the supervision of Prof. Eivind Kahrs. His research focuses on traditional grammar and scholasticism in Pali, particularly in Myanmar. More broadly, he is interested in ancient Indian literature (kāvya) and philosophy or knowledge systems (śāstra).After completing his PhD, Aleix worked for two years on Pali manuscripts in Thailand, and he spent one year doing independent research in India. In 2018, he moved to the Shan State in Myanmar, where his long-term project is to teach and learn the Pali and Burmese languages and literature in a traditional monastic setting. One of his long-term goals is to reveal and demystify the treasures of the Pali medieval tradition that explain how we still possess the ancient words of the Buddha today.Website: Links discussed in episodePALI 101 | Elementary PaliAccess to Insight
74:23 05/02/2022
7. Geoff Barstow | Thinking with Animals in Buddhism
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Geoff Barstow about his beginnings as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, the complicated status of animals in Buddhism, his research into the history of vegetarianism in Tibet, and how thinking with animals can help us see the world in a new way. We discuss common questions about Buddhism and animals, such as: what did the Buddha teach about animals? Are most Buddhists vegetarians? What are some of the different ways Buddhist communities have interacted with animals?  We also preview his upcoming online course, BSO 106 | Buddhism and Animals, which will explore these issues in more depth!Speaker BioDr. Geoffrey Barstow is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Oregon State University.He first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1999, and since that time the study of Tibetan religion, history, and culture has been the focus of his professional life. For the last decade and a half, his research has focussed on the history and practice of vegetarianism on the Tibetan plateau, asking questions about how animals were viewed, how they were treated (i.e., eaten), what that can tell us about Tibetan Buddhism, and how Buddhist ideas about animal ethics might impact broader philosophical discussions. His published work includes Food of Sinful Demons: A History of Vegetarianism in Tibet (Columbia University Press) and The Faults of Meat: Tibetan Writings on Vegetarianism (Wisdom Publications).Links discussed in episodeBSO 106 | Buddhism and AnimalsFood of Sinful Demons: A History of Vegetarianism in TibetThe Faults of Meat: Tibetan Writings on Vegetarianism Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination by  Reiko OhnumaThe Rule of Threefold Purity in MN 55.5Janet Gyatso on animal ethics on the Wisdom PodcastKinship and Killing: The Animal in World Religions by Katherine Perlo
75:33 03/13/2022
6. Jue Liang | Gender in Buddhist Theory and Practice
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Jue Liang about her beginnings as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, the life of the Tibetan saint Yeshe Tsogyal, and the broader topic of women in Buddhism. How should we think about the place of women in Buddhist philosophy, narrative, and practice? How do scholars attempt to recover the lives of women who are often forgotten in Buddhist history? And how does thinking with and about gender help us—whatever our gender—understand Buddhism? We also preview her upcoming online course, BSO 105 | Women and Buddhism, which will explore these issues in more depth! Speaker BioDr. Jue Liang is a scholar of Tibetan Buddhist literature, history, and culture, and is Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Denison University  and incoming Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Wittenberg University in Fall 2022. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation, Conceiving the Mother of Tibet: The Life, Lives, and Afterlife of the Buddhist Saint Yeshe Tsogyel, examines the literary tradition surrounding the matron saint of Tibet, Yeshe Tsogyel, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It also presents the blossoming of this literary tradition in tandem with the efforts to trace their religious pedigree and define what counts as authentic Buddhism by Nyingma Tibetan Buddhists.She is currently working on a second book project titled Who Is a Buddhist Feminist: Theorizing Gender and Religion in Contemporary Tibet. It is a study on the history, discourse, and social effects of the khenmo program, a gender-equality initiative that has been taking place at Tibetan Buddhist institutions in China for the past three decades. Jue is also an active participant in discussions on Buddhism in both academic and public forums.LinksBSO 105 | Women and Buddhism
59:29 01/22/2022
5. Connie Kassor | History and Philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Constance Kassor about her beginnings as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, different Tibetan interpretations of emptiness, and how studying history sheds light on philosophy and practice. Plus, we chat about some of our favorite books, articles, and other resources for learning more about Tibetan Buddhism! We also preview Dr. Kassor's upcoming online course, 104 | Tibetan Buddhism, which will cover the history, schools, philosophy, and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. The course is meant to give an overview of various important aspects of Tibetan history and culture that give students frameworks of understanding that can support future study and practice. Speaker BioDr. Constance Kassor is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she teaches courses on Buddhist thought and Asian religious traditions. Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty in 2016, she taught Buddhist Studies at Smith College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal.Connie’s research primarily focuses on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and she is interested in different ways that Tibetan Buddhist scholars understand the cultivation of knowledge. Her forthcoming book, Accounting for Awakened Awareness, examines the nature of knowledge through the lens of the 15th century philosopher Gorampa Sonam Senge. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Connie is also currently translating Gorampa’s extensive Madhyamaka treatise, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don) into English, in collaboration with Khenpo Dr. Ngawang Jorden, principal and abbot of the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal.Connie has spent several years living, working, and teaching in Buddhist communities in India and Nepal. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle, and has recently published an audio course for The Great Courses and AudibleLinks104 | Tibetan BuddhismReferenced in the EpisodeThe Parable of the Raft (in the Alagaddupama Sutta, MN 22)The Sound of Two Hands Clapping by Georges Dreyfus"The Heart Sutra: the Fullness of Emptiness" by Thich Nhat Hanh Accounting for Awakened Awareness by  Constance Kassor (no link yet, but click here for other publications by Connie!)High Peaks Pure Earth Tibet Reading List
80:44 12/29/2021
4. Maria Heim | Learning How to Read Buddhist Texts with Buddhaghosa
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Maria Heim about her beginnings as a scholar of classical South Asia, the role of commentaries in Buddhism, and the importance of emotions to the Buddhist path. We also preview her upcoming online course, BSO 202 | Visuddhimagga: The Path of Purification, which will focus on this important Theravada text written by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century and cherished by Buddhists ever since. We discuss Buddhaghosa's theory of the Buddha's speech as endlessly meaningful, and what that means for how we might read Buddhist texts ourselves. Speaker BioDr. Maria Heim is George Lyman Crosby 1896 & Stanley Warfield Crosby Professor in Religion at Amherst College.  She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1999, and was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. She currently chairs the Department of Religion at Amherst.Heim works on Sanskrit and Pali textual traditions. She has written three books on Buddhaghosa (The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency, Oxford, 2014; Voice of the Buddha: Buddhaghosa on the Immeasurable Words, Oxford 2018; and Buddhist Ethics, Cambridge, 2020). She is currently working on emotions in ancient and classical India, and her most recent book, A Treasury of Emotions from Classical India, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She is also translating the Milindapañha for the Murty Classical Library of India.LinksBSO 202 | Visuddhimagga: The Path of PurificationReferenced in the EpisodeThe Jewel Discourse Sutta (Ratana Sutta)Thomas Dixon, From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological CategoryLisa Feldman Barrett, How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
62:42 10/28/2021
3. Jay L. Garfield | Buddhist Ethics and the Bodhicaryāvatāra
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Jay L. Garfield about his unconventional path to Buddhist Studies, the importance of multicultural philosophy, how philosophy can enrich Buddhist practice, and preview his upcoming online course, BSO 201 | Bodhicaryāvatāra: How to Lead an Awakened Life, which will focus on this important Mahayana text written by Śāntideva in the 8th century and cherished by Buddhists ever since. Speaker BioJay L. Garfield is Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Buddhist Studies, Smith College. He chairs the Philosophy department at Smith College. He is also visiting professor of Buddhist philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, professor of philosophy at Melbourne University and adjunct professor of philosophy at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. Garfield’s research addresses topics in the foundations of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; the history of modern Indian philosophy; topics in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of logic; the philosophy of the Scottish enlightenment; methodology in cross-cultural interpretation; and topics in Buddhist philosophy, particularly Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka and Yogācāra.Garfield’s most recent books are Knowing Illusion: Bringing a Tibetan Debate into Contemporary Discourse (with the Yakherds, 2021), Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration (2021), What Can’t Be Said: Paradox and Contradiction in East Asian Thought (with Yasuo Deguchi, Graham Priest, and Robert Sharf, 2021), Minds Without Fear: Philosophy in the Indian Renaissance (with Nalini Bhushan, 2017), Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy (2015), Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness (with the Cowherds, 2015). He recently finished a book on selves and persons, Losing Yourself: How to Be a Person Without a Self, to be published in February 2022, and is working on several other projects.LinksBSO 201 | Bodhicaryāvatāra: How to Lead an Awakened LifeWebsite: in the EpisodeEvan Thompson, Why I  am Not a BuddhistMaria Heim, Buddhist EthicsJay Garfield and Bryan van Norden, "If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is," editorial in the New York TimesJay Garfield, Losing Yourself: How to Be a Person Without a Self, course at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
83:25 09/03/2021
2. Karin Meyers | Buddhist Philosophy and Ecological Activism
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Karin Meyers about her path to Buddhist Studies, her experiences teaching Buddhist Studies in the US and Nepal, how she relates the study of Buddhist philosophy to contemporary engagement with social issues, and how she stays motivated to tackle the ecological crisis. We also  preview her upcoming online course, BSO 103 | Indian Buddhist Philosophy.Speaker BioDr. Karin Meyers received a PhD with distinction from The University of Chicago Divinity School in 2010, and is currently Academic Director at Mangalam Research Center in Berkeley, CA. She has taught Buddhist Studies at several colleges and universities in the US and abroad, including Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, where she directed the Masters program in Buddhist Studies until returning to the US in 2017. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on bringing Buddhist perspectives to bear on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary inquiry into fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical questions. Karin has practiced Buddhism in Tibetan and Theravāda traditions and took a year in 2019 to serve as Retreat Support Fellow at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Before attending graduate school she worked at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship in the Bay Area and has recently returned to these socially engaged roots, promoting Buddhist activism in regard to the accelerating climate and ecological crisis.As Academic Director at Mangalam Research Center, Karin teaches Buddhist Studies and language courses in Mangalam’s residential and public programs; host public talks, conversations, and conferences with scholars of Buddhist studies and related fields. Her mission is to help make scholarly research and classical Buddhist traditions accessible to Dharma practitioners, and to draw on these resources to support and inspire socially and ecologically engaged Buddhist thought and practice. Karin is also host of Buddhist Currents, conversations on current social, political, and ecological issues in light of Buddhist thought, history and practice. More information on the series and Karin's other projects can be found here: 103 | Indian Buddhist PhilosopyFaculty Page 
75:09 08/01/2021
1. Daniel Stuart | The History of Buddhist Meditation
In this first episode, we speak with Dr. Daniel M. Stuart about his path to Buddhist Studies, different academic approaches to studying Buddhism, how meditation might drive new ideas in the history of Buddhism, differences and continuities in meditation practices across Buddhist history, and preview his upcoming online course, BSO 102 | Buddhist Meditation in Theory and Practice.Speaker BioDaniel M. Stuart is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the history of traditional Buddhist contemplative practices from their origins in premodern South Asia into the global present. He holds an MA in Sanskrit Literature and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.Dr. Stuart is particularly interested in how Asian thought systems, practice regimes, and cosmovisions converge in specific ways to form distinctive traditions of practice at particular moments in history. He has worked on a wide range of premodern Indian textual traditions, bringing to light lesser-known texts and unedited manuscripts in various Asian languages and scripts. He works with textual materials in Sanskrit, Pāli, Hindi, Gāndhārī, Buddhist Chinese and literary Tibetan. He has also spent nearly a decade in Asia as a student, as a research scholar, and as a practitioner of meditation. He is the author of four books: Thinking about Cessation, A Less Traveled Path, The Stream of Deathless Nectar, and S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight.LinksBSO 102 | Buddhist Meditation in Theory and PracticeFaculty Page 
90:32 06/08/2021
The Buddhist Studies Podcast Trailer
Welcome to The Buddhist Studies Podcast, a new channel dedicated to exploring the depths of Buddhist Studies. This Podcast will feature candid conversations and interviews with scholars of Buddhism across the disciplines of Religious Studies, Indology, Art History, South Asian Studies, Anthropology, and more. Hosted by Dr. Kate Hartmann.
01:29 06/03/2021