Lecture by Janet Gyatso, Intellectual History of Tibetan Medicine

News item posted on: December 24th, 2008
The Way of Humans in a Buddhist World:
Towards an Intellectual History of Tibetan Medicine

By Janet Gyatso, Harvard Divinity School’s Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies

Professor Janet Gyatso of Harvard University is one of the most important figures in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, and is well known for her brilliant lectures in terms of content and style.

Janet Gyatso is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian religious culture. Her books include Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary; In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; and Women of Tibet. Her current book project is on traditional medical science in Tibet, its relation to modernity, and its relation to Buddhism. She has also been writing on conceptions of sex and gender in Buddhist monasticism, and on the current female ordination movement in Buddhism. Previous topics of her scholarship have included visionary revelation in Buddhism; issues concerning lineage, memory, and authorship; philosophical questions on the status of experience; and autobiographical writing in Tibet. Professor Gyatso was president of the International Association of Tibetan Studies from 2000 to 2006, and is now co-chair of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. She teaches lecture courses and advanced seminars on Buddhist history, ritual, and ideas, and on Tibetan literary practices and religious history. In both teaching and writing she draws on cultural and literary theory, and is concerned to widen the spectrum of intellectual resource for the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist history. She leads an ongoing reading group for graduate students in Buddhist studies, and is the faculty director of the Buddhist Studies Forum. She is currently the director of Graduate Studies in the Committee on the Study of Religion, and is also a member of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. She has chaired the Committee for the Study of Women and Gender, and is leading the development of a new track for the training of Buddhist lay ministers and leaders in the master of divinity program at the Divinity School. Professor Gyatso taught at Amherst College before coming to Harvard as the Divinity School’s first Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies.

Co-sponsored by the Tibet Center, Center for South Asian Studies, Religious Studies Department, and the A&S Special Lectures.