Buddhist Studies

Faculty: Michael Allen, Erik Braun, David Germano, Natasha Heller, Sonam Kachru, John Nemec, Kurtis Schaeffer

Affiliated Faculty: Ariana Maki, Steve Weinberger, Dorothy Wong (Art History)

For half a century, the University of Virginia has been a leader in Buddhist Studies among North American universities, and now serves as an international nexus for the study of Buddhism with six faculty members who engage fulltime in teaching and research about Buddhism, as well as many others whose scholarly interests intersect with Buddhism.

Collectively we offer graduate-level training in the Buddhist literatures, histories, and cultures of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. With training in Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan, graduate students develop as expert translators through seminars focused on the reading and interpretation of Buddhist texts and cultures. We also ensure that our students work with Buddhist communities and institutions throughout China, India, Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere by making field research an integral part of graduate education.

Faculty bring expertise in Chan studies, tantric traditions, philosophy, Theravāda Buddhism, and Buddhism in the West, among other topics. Students often take classes in other departments at UVA, especially Art History and Anthropology, to develop multidisciplinary approaches to Buddhist Studies.

Buddhist studies faculty collaborate with the University community, the international scholarly community, and Buddhist communities, in training the next generation of scholars. Since 1979 we have produced over eighty PhD graduates, who now teach at major universities throughout North America.