Religious Studies

Kurtis Schaeffer

Professor and Chair (History of Religions)
Mailing Address:

Department of Religious Studies
PO Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126

Office Hours:

By appointment. Please email me. Thanks!

434-924-3770

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1988: Lewis & Clark College, Department of Religious Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1990: The Evergreen State College. Area of Emphasis: Buddhist Studies
  • Master of Arts (MA) 1995: The University of Washington. Department of Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Harvard University, 2000. Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies

Research Interests

  • Tibet
  • Buddhism
  • Tibetan History
  • Indian Buddhism
  • Nepal
  • Dalai Lama

Books

  • Sources of Tibetan Tradition. Edited by Kurtis R. Schaeffer, Gray Tuttle, and Matthew T. Kapstein. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013. A volume in the Sources of Asian Civilization series.
  • The Tibetan History Reader. Edited by Kurtis R. Schaeffer and Gray Tuttle. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013.
  • The Culture of the Book in Tibet. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2009.
  • An Early Tibetan Catalogue of Buddhist Literature: The Bstan pa rgyas pa nyi ma’i ‘od zer of Bcom ldan ral gri. Kurtis R. Schaeffer and Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Oriental Series, 2009. HOS64.
  • Power, Politics and the Reinvention of Tradition in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Tibet: Proceedings of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Xth Seminar, Oxford University, 2003. Edited by Kurtis R. Schaeffer and Bryan J. Cuevas. Leiden: Brill, 2006.
  • Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of a Buddhist Poet Saint. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Among Tibetan Texts: Essays on Tibetan Religion, Literature, and History by E. Gene Smith. Edited with an introduction by Kurtis R. Schaeffer. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2001. In the Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism Series, a refereed series.

Articles

  • “Salt and the Sovereignty of the Dalai Lama, circa 1697.” In Images, Relics, and Legends: The Formation and Transformation of Buddhist Sacred Sites, edited by James A. Benn, Jinhua Chen, and James Robson, 298-322. Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press, 2012.
  • “Putting Hagiography in Place: Tibetan Narratives on Buddha’s Acts at Vajrasana.” Zangxue xuekan [Journal of Tibetology] 7 (Summer 2012): 1-45.
  • “Tibetan Poetry on Wutai Shan.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 215-242. http://www.thlib.org?tid=T5719.
  • "The Printing Projects of Tsangnyon Heruka and His Disciples." In Mahāmudra and the Bka'-brgyud Tradition: PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006, edited by Roger R. Jackson and Matthew T. Kapstein, 453-480. Bonn: Beiträge zur Zentralasienforschung, 2011.
  • "New Tibetan Scholarship, 1650-1700." In Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia, edited by Sheldon Pollock, 291-310. Raleigh: Duke University Press, 2011.
  • "Tibetan Biography: Growth and Criticism." In Edition, editions: l’écrit au Tibet, évolution et devenir, edited by Anne Chayet, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Françoise Robin, and Jean-Luc Achard, 263-306. Munich: Indus Verlag, 2010.
  • “Crystal Orbs and Arcane Treasuries: Tibetan Anthologies of Buddhist Tantric Songs from the Tradition of Pha Dam pa sangs rgyas.” Acta Orientalia (Norway) 68 (2007): 5-73.
  • "Dying Like Milarepa: Death Accounts in a Tibetan Hagiographic Tradition.” In The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, edited by Bryan J. Cuevas and Jaqueline I. Stone, 208-233. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007. Kuroda Studies in East Asian Buddhism No. 20.
  • "Death, Prognosis, and the Physician's Reputation in Tibet." In Heroes and Saints: The Moment of Death in Cross-cultural Perspectives, edited by Phyllis Granoff and Koichi Shinohara, 159-172. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.
  • "Ritual, Festival, and Authority under the Fifth Dalai Lama." In Power, Politics and the Reinvention of Tradition in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Tibet: Proceedings of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Xth Seminar, Oxford University, 2003, edited by Kurtis R. Schaeffer and Bryan J. Cuevas, 187-202. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006.
  • "Future Directions in Modern Tibetan Studies: Religion/History." The CSSR (Council of Societies for the Study of Religion) Bulletin 35, no. 1 (2006): 17-19.
  • “The Autobiography of a Medieval Tibetan Hermitess.” In Women in Tibet: Past and Present, edited by Janet Gyatso and Hanna Havnevik. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2005.
  • "The Fifth Dalai Lama." In The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History, edited by Martin Brauen, 64-91. Chicago, IL: Serindia Publications. 2005.
  • “A Letter to Editors of the Buddhist Canon in 14th Century Tibet.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124, no. 2 (2004): 1-17.
  • "Professing Buddhism in Alabama." The CSSR (Council of Societies for the Study of Religion) Bulletin 33, no. 2 (2004): 43-46.
  •  “Textual Scholarship, Medical Tradition, and Mahayana Buddhist Ideals in Tibet.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 31, nos. 5-6 (2003): 621-641.
  • “The Attainment of Immortality: From Nathas in India to Buddhists in Tibet." Journal of Indian Philosophy 30, no. 6 (2003): 515-533.
  • “The Religious Career of Vairocanavajra—A Twelfth-Century Indian Buddhist Master from Daksina Kosala.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 28, no. 4 (2000): 361-384.
  •  “Printing the Words of the Master: Tibetan Editorial Practice in the Collected Works of ‘Jam dbyangs bzhad pa’i rdo rje I (1648-1721).” Acta Orientalia 60 (1999): 159-177.

Current and Recent Professional Activities

  • Summer 2014: Problems in the Study of Religion. A Summer Institute for college and university teachers, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Site: http://uvareligion.org.
  • Summer 2011: Talking about "Religion": Pasts, Presents, Pedagogies. A Summer Seminar supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • 2006-2011: Book Review Editor, Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
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