Research Interests:

  • Indian and Tibetan Buddhism
  • Commentarial Rhetoric and Practice
  • Buddhist Philosophy in Comparative Perspective

I am a specialist in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and my work to date has focused broadly on Buddhism in India as practiced during the first millennium. I am interested in the ways in which doctrines inform, and are informed by, practices—more specifically, in questions of how protocols for teaching, learning, and interpreting Buddhist texts have shifted over time as these protocols have themselves been taught, learned, and interpreted.

My recent and current projects include studies of: guides designed to provide instruction for would-be commentators on how best to articulate the meaning of scriptural texts; the rhetoric of Buddhist letters to Indian kings; divergent traditional accounts of the so-called “four reliances”; the extent to which one can reasonably speak of a “commentarial mindset” informing the composition of Buddhist exegetical works in India; conspiratorial offenses in the Pali vinaya and norms for assessing culpability of participants in cases of theft and killing; the philosophical issues raised by Indian discussions of how and why Buddhas are to be made materially present via the plastic arts.

Subject Area(s): Religious Studies

Research Interests:

  • Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Commentarial rhetoric and practice, Buddhist philosophy in comparative perspective
Asian Studies, Religious Studies
PhD, University of Chicago, 2004
AM, University of Chicago, 1997
BFA, New York University, 1991