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Robert A. F. Thurman <email@example.com>
Tibetan History, Philosophy, Art, Culture
|Address:||80 Claremont #203
New York, New York 10027
|List Affiliations:||Former Review Editor for H-Buddhism
|Interests:||Asian History / Studies
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
Religious Studies and Theology
ROBERT ALEXANDER FARRAR THURMAN
Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Columbia University
President, Tibet House New York
President, American Institute for Buddhist Studies in affiliation with Columbia University's Center for Buddhist Studies
80 Claremont #203
New York, NY 10027
1947-1954 -- St. Bernard's School.
1954-1958 -- Phillips Exeter Academy.
1959-1962 -- Harvard College; B. A., English.
1963-1966 -- Namgyal Monastery, Dharamsala, India; Lamaist Buddhist
Monastery, Freewood Acres, New Jersey.
1967-1969 -- Harvard University; A.M., East Asian Studies.
1969-1972 -- Harvard University; Ph.D., Sanskrit and Indian Studies; concentration in Tibetology and Buddhology.
1973-1985 -- Amherst College, Master of Arts, honoris causa.
Columbia University: Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, 1988-; Director, Center for Buddhist Studies, 1989 - ; Chair, Department of Religion, 1991-1995; 2004-.
Tibet House New York: Founding Trustee, 1987-; President, 1992- .
Institute for Asian Democracy: Founding Trustee, 1991; Chairman, 1992-1994.
Amherst College: Assistant Professor of Religion, 1973-1978; Associate Professor of Religion, 1978-1985; Professor of Religion, 1985-1988.
Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions, Stonybrook, New York: Director of Research and Translation, 1972-1976.
American Institute of Buddhist Studies: Founding Trustee, 1972-1976; Convener,
Summer Institutes, 1977-1985; President, 1976- .
Harvard University: Visiting Associate Professor of Tibetan and World Religion,
spring, 1979; Visiting Professor of Tibetan and World Religions, 1986.
Smith College: Visiting Associate Professor of Religion, spring, 1982.
Wesleyan University: Visiting Associate Professor of Religion, spring 1983.
Williams College: Visiting Associate Professor of Religion, fall, 1984.
Doshisha University, Associated Kyoto Program, Kyoto, Japan: Visiting Professor
of Buddhist Studies, fall, 1985.
Boston University Institute for Philosophy and Religion: Lecturer, 1978-1979, 1981,
1983; 1987; 1993.
Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris: Senior Lecturer, 1994.
American Institute of Indian Studies: Junior Research Fellow in India, 1970-1971;
Senior Research Fellow in India, 1980-1981; SeniorResearch Fellow in India, 1986-1986; Trustee, 1982-1985; 1992.
Institute of Advanced Studies of World Religions, New York: Principal Investigator, American Institute of Buddhist Studies/Lamaist Buddhist
Monastery Research Project for Translation of Tibetan Tanjur, 1973-1976.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund: Principal Investigator, American Institute of Buddhist
Studies Project to Expand Buddhist Studies Contribution to Liberal Arts Education, 1977-1981.
National Endowment for the Humanities: Principal Investigator, American Institute of Buddhist Studies Research and Translation Project, 1978-1979;
Reviewer, Asian Religions Film Project, 1979-1980; Senior Review Panelist, NEH Research Division, 1982-1984.
Ada Howe Kent Foundation: Principal Investigator, American Institute of Buddhist Studies Project to Expand Buddhist Studies and Asian Humanities Offerings
in Five Colleges, 1981-1984.
George L. Hamilton Fund, Amherst College: Chairperson, convening major conferences on Comparative Philosophy, 1976-1979; on Comparative Monasticism, 1981-1984; on Buddhist Psychology with H. H. Dalai Lama,
Henry Luce Foundation: Principal Investigator, Old Tibet Archive Project, 1993- .
Laurance Rockefeller Fund: Chairperson, World Sciences in Dialogue Project, 1992- 1994.
Fetzer Institute: Chairperson World Sciences in Dialogue Project, 1992-1994.
California Wellness Foundation: Principal Investigator: Peacemaking: Politics of
– Principal Investigator, Global Renaissance Inner Science Translation Series (multi-year translation and publication series), 1999-…
– Co-Principal Investigator, Indic Contributions to World Civilization (Series of Conferences and Publications) 2000-2010.
American Oriental Society.
Association for Asian Studies.
American Academy of Religion.
Service on Committee for Public Understanding of Religion, 2000-2003.
American Philosophical Association.
International Association of Buddhist Studies; Board of Directors and co-editor of
Journal of International Association of Buddhist Studies, 1982-1996.
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy.
International Association of Tibetan Studies.
The Door of Liberation, (with G. Wangyal), Girodias Press, 1970; reprints, Lotsawa
Press, 1982; Wisdom Publications, 1994.
Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti, Penn State University Press, 1977. (Polish, Spanish)
The Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa, Tibetan Library and Archives, 1982.
Tsong Khapa's Speech of Gold: Reason and Enlightenment in the Central Philosophy of Tibet, Princeton University Press, 1984.
Lectures on Buddhist Inner Science, (with H. H. Dalai Lama), Amherst, American
Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1984.
From the Land of Snows: Buddhist Art of Tibet, (with Professor M. Rhie),
Catalogue for Mead Art Museum Exhibit, Amherst, 1984.
The Speech of Gold, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, 1990 (reprint).
The Central Philosophy of Tibet, (Princeton book reprinted) 1991.
Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, (with M. Rhie), Harry Abrams
Co., New York, 1991.
MindScience, (ed., with Daniel Goleman),Wisdom Publications, Boston, 1991.
TheTibetan Book of the Dead: The Natural Liberation Through Understanding in
the Between, Bantam Publications, New York, 1993. (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese)
Inside Tibetan Buddhism, HarperCollinsSanFrancisco, 1995.
Essential Tibetan Buddhism, HarperCollinsSanFrancisco, 1995. (Spanish, French,
Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Expanded Edition, (with M.
Rhie), Harry Abrams Co., New York, 1996 (New English edition, including
articles on eighty new works of art and a new preface, prepared for new
international exhibition in Germany, Spain, and Japan, assisting in the
editing of translations into German, Spanish/Catalan, Japanese, Chinese).
Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness, Putnam, New
York, 1998. (One of “1998 Ten Best Books on Religion,” Publisher’s Weekly) (translations into Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese)
Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment (with Denise Leidy), Tibet House and Asia Society, New York, 1997.
Circling the Sacred Mountain: A Spiritual Journey Through the Himalayas, (with
Tad Wise), Bantam, New York, 1999. (translations into Italian, Dutch, German, French)
Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion, (with M.
Rhie), Tibet House, New York, 1999.
PUBLISHED TRANSLATIONS (some in restricted circulation):
The Wisdom of Nagarjuna, Mula-madhyamaka-karika, American Institute of
Buddhist Studies, 1978.
The Guhyasamaja Tantra, Chs. 1-12, American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1981.
The Panchakrama of Nagarjuna, American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1981.
The Contemplative and Ritual Practice of the Vajrabhairava Tantra, 360 pp., American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1987.
The Contemplative and Ritual Practice of the Guhyasamaja Tantra, 85 pp., American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1983.
The Contemplative and Ritual Practice of the Kalachakra Tantra, 210 pp.,
American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1986.
The Contemplative Practice of the Paramasukhachakrasamvara Tantra, 125 pp., American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1987.
The Contemplative and Ritual Practice of the Vajrayogini Tantra, 140 pp., American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 1987.
The Sravaka-tattva-isana of the Madhyamaka-Hrdaya," in J. Takasaki, ed., The
Madhyamakahrdaya of Bhavaviveka, Tokyo University Press, 1992.
The Ornament of the Scriptures of the Universal Vehicle, (co-translator and editor),
Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences, Volume I, American Institute of Buddhist
Studies, (first of new series of translations of original Buddhist scientific texts;
AIBS publication, 1991: forthcoming in hard copy, 2001).
Being Positive, Putnam Riverhead, 2000.
The Columbia Companion to Eastern Religions (editor in chief), Columbia University Press, New York, 2001.
The Vajra Hero and the Extremely Brilliant Lamp, A Study of the Perfection Stage of the Unexcelled Yoga Tantras, based on a translation of Tsong Khapa’s master work.
The Tibetan Book of Inner Science . (with His Holiness the Dalai Lama).
ESSAYS (Partial list)
"Interiority and Confrontation in Buddhist Religious Experience," in Peter Berger
(ed.), The Other Side of God: Monotheism and the World Religions, Doubleday, 1981.
"Transcendence and the Sacred in Mahayana Thought," in Transcendence and the
Sacred, Notre Dame Press, 1981
"Buddhist Social Activism: Nagarjuna's Welfare State," in The Eastern Buddhist,
May 1983, pp. 19-52
"The Practice of Unexcelled Yoga Tantra, According to Tsong Khapa," in S.B. Park
(ed.), Practice in Buddhism, SUNY Press, in press.
"Buddhist Views of Nature," in L. Rouner, ed. On Nature, Notre Dame Press, 1984.
"Beyond Buddhism and Christianity: New Definition of the Dialogue of World
Religions," in Buddhist-Christian Studies, U. of Hawaii Press, 1984.
"Human Rights and Human Responsibilities: Buddhist Theories of Justice," in
Human Rights in the World Religions, ed. W. de Bary, W. Proudfoot, I.
Bloom, Columbia University Press, (forthcoming).
"The Bodhisattva: Buddhist Messiah," in D. Lopez & S. Rockefeller, eds., Christ and
the Bodhisattva, SUNY Press, 1987.
"Vajra Hermeneutics," in D. Lopez, ed., Buddhist Hermeneutics, Kuroda Institute
Series, U. of Hawaii Press, 1987.
"Homage to Nishitani," in T. Unno ed., Religion and Nothingness, and Its Challenge to Western Thought, Nanzan Institute for Philosophy and Religion Series, UCAL Press.
"The Tibetan Way of Dying," 30 page article in H. Obayashi, ed., Death and the
World Religions, U. of Chicago Press, forthcoming.
"Tibet in the Future of Asia," in H. Steckel, ed., Tibet in the 1990s, Hamburg, June,
"The Spirituality of Emptiness," in Second Buddhism Volume of the Encyclopedia
of Spirituality, Crossroad/Continuum, 1991.
"Tibetan Psychology: Sophisticated Software for the Human Biocomputer," in R.
Thurman & D. Goleman, ed., Mind Science, East and West, Wisdom Publications, Boston, 1991.
“A Glimpse of Shambhala,” in Shapiro ed., The Way Ahead, London, 1992.
“The Buddha’s Smile: Buddhism on the Pursuit of Happiness,” in On Happiness, Boston University Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Notre Dame Press, 1995.
“Tibetan Culture Under Threat Today” for Tibetan Art, Albuquerque Museum, 1998.
“Tibetan Buddhism in America,” in C. Prebish, ed., Buddhism in Ameerica, UCAL Press, 2001.
JOURNAL, ENCYCLOPEDIA, and MAGAZINE ARTICLES
"Buddhist Hermeneutics," Journal American Academy of Religion, March, 1978.
"Voidness and Totalities: Madhyamika and Hua Yen Thought," in A.K. Narain
(ed.), Studies in Pali and Buddhism, Delhi,1978.
"The Politics of Enlightenment," Lindisfarne Letter 8, Winter 1979.
"Philosophical Non-egocentrism in Wittgenstein and Candrakirti and the Private
Language Question," Philosophy East and West, June, 1980.
"Tsong Khapa on Analytic Meditation," Tibet Journal, May, 1980.
"Tibetan Buddhism Faces Modernity," Bulletin of the Harvard Center for the Study
of the World Religions, 1979.
"Terras Irradient: Western Liberal and Buddhist Liberative Arts," P. La Chance (ed.),
Appalachian Journal of Higher Education, 1982.
"The Dalai Lamas of Tibet," Tibet Journal, December, 1983.
"Buddhist Ethics: Emptiness and Compassion," in Religious Traditions, Nov. 1981.
"Tsong Khapa on Integration of Sutra and Tantra," in Tibetan Studies, ed. Aziz and
Kapstein, Harrassowitz, 1984.
Parabola, interviews and essays: "Trials of a Teacher," June, 1978; "Sleep and the
Inner Landscape," (with Dr. Yeshi Donden), September, 1981; "The Golden
Bowl," February, 1984; "Pilgrimage," June, 1984; "Wholeness," (with H. H.
Dalai Lama), Nov. 1984; "Tibet: Mystic Nation in Exile," April, 1985.
J. Kitagawa et al., eds., Encyclopedia of World Religions, New York, Macmillan;
"Tsong Khapa," "Psychic Powers," "Tibetan Cultic Life," "Indian Tantrism."
Edward L. Farmer, et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Asian History, New York, Asia Society; "Buddhism," "Tibetan Religion," "The Dalai Lamas," "Panchen
Lamas," Tsong Khapa."
Yoshinori Takeuchi, et al., eds., World History of Spirituality, New York, Crossroad
Press;"Buddhist Monasticism in the Asian Civilizations."
"Tibetan Monastic Education," in C. Eilchert, Padma Karpo - In Celebration of
Tibetan Culture, Snow Lion Press.
"The Cultural Inheritance of Tibet," in Cultural Survival, Cambridge, Mass., 1988.
“Spiritual Traveling”, Travel, 1998.
“Win-Win Solution for Tibet” Op-ed, Wall Street Journal, 1998.
Interviews with HH Dalai Lama, in Shambhala Sun (1998), Mother Jones (1999), Rollong Stone (2001)
REVIEWS (partial list - forewords omitted)
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies: H.V. Guenther, Kindly Bent to Ease Us, 1974.
Journal of the American Oriental Society: A. Verdu, Hua Yen Thought, 70's. S. Beyer, Cult of Tara, 71; C. Trungpa R., Visual Dharma, 70's. D. Ruegg, History of Madhyamika Literature, 85.
Parabola Magazine: L. A. Govinda, Creative Meditation and Multi-Dimensional Consciousness, 70's. E. Birnbaum, The Way to Shambhala, 80's. Frederick Franck, The Bottomless Well, forthcoming.
Journal of Religious Studies, Patiala: F. de Jong, Sanskrit anuscripts from Central Asia. A. Yuyama, Fragments of the The Lotus Sutra. L. M. Joshi, Studies in Buddhistic Culture of India.
Journal of Asian Studies: M. Aris, Hidden Lives and Treasures, 1991.
Critique of D. Lopez’ Prisoners of Shangrila, Journal of American Academy of Freligion, September 2001.
SPOKEN ADDRESSES (partial)
Addresses given at numerous academic conferences; individual addresses given in the U. S. at Harvard, Middlebury, Columbia, Smith, University of Massachusetts, Smith, Wellesley, Williams, Wesleyan, St. John's, Hunter College, State University of New York, Stonybrook, Albany, Oswego, Grinnell College, Ohio State University, Boston University, and so on; addresses given abroad at Oxford University, Delhi University, Punjabi University, Poona University, Nalanda University, Taisho University, Otani University, Ryukoku University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris;, etc.; public lectures given at Asia Society, New York; Museum of Natural History, New York; Freer Gallery, Washington; Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Rothko Chapel, Houston; Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York; School of Sacred Art, New York; Open Center, New York; Interface, Boston; Omega Institute, New York; Sotheby’s New York, Geneva, Zurich;
seminars frequently given at Buddhist institutions, such as Buddhist Learning Center, Washington, N. J., Rochester Zen Center, Los Angeles Zen Center, San Francisco Zen Center; 1998-2000, addresses given at Stanford University, UWASH/Seattle, UCAL/Berkeley, UCAL/Santa Barbara (4 times), Vanderbilt U., Tulane U., Harvard U., Dickenson College, Amherst College, Smith College, UCOLO/Boulder, Cornell University, Princeton University, UPENN/Philadelphia, Wheaton College, Furman U., Hiram College, Binghamton College, Roorkee University, India, etc., Kunsthalle/Bonn University, La Caixa Museum, Barcelona, Spain, Tobu Museum, Tokyo, Japan, Cleveland Museum, Dayton Museum, Asia Society, New York, etc..
Radio and TV Appearances: Oprah, CNN, Charlie Rose, NPR, ABC News; CBS News; BBC news; KQED part of Moyers special, Local radio and TV Talk shows.