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March 05, 2009

Donald Lopez to give lecture "The Birth of the Buddha" a second time

Due to popular demand, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies and the Office of the Provost are pleased to announce that Donald Lopez, the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and CCS faculty associate, will present his lecture, "The Birth of the Buddha," a second time.

Please mark your calendar to attend Professor Lopez’s lecture on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium.


Prior to the eighteenth century, the figure that we know today as the Buddha was known to Europeans merely as a pagan idol, called by many names and appearing in many guises across the Orient. By the middle of the nineteenth century, those idols had coalesced into a single figure with a single name, transformed from a stone god into a historical figure, a man of flesh and blood, the founder of a great religion. This extraordinary human would come to be idolized in Europe for his ethical teachings of simple truths that required neither God nor priests. In this lecture, Donald Lopez will recount the events that brought about the birth of this Buddha.

Donald Lopez is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies. He received his doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia in 1982. After teaching at Middlebury College, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1989. He currently serves as chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and as chair of the Michigan Society of Fellows. In 2002-2003, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of LS&A.

His books include A Study of Svatantrika (1987); Elaborations on Emptiness: Uses of the Heart Sutra (1996); Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West (1998); The Story of Buddhism (2001); The Madman’s Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel (2005); and Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (2008). His edited volumes include Buddhist Hermeneutics (1988); Buddhism in Practice (1995); Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism Under Colonialism (1995); Religions of Tibet in Practice (1997); Buddhist Scriptures (2004); and Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism (2005). In 2000 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Posted by zzhu at March 5, 2009 05:10 PM