The celebrated career of a venerated scholar inspires incisive new contributions to the field of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.
Particularly known for his groundbreaking and influential work in Tibetan studies, Matthew Kapstein is a true polymath in Buddhist and Asian studies more generally; possessing unsurpassed knowledge of Tibetan culture and civilization, he is also deeply grounded in Sanskrit and Indology, and his highly accomplished work in these cultural and civilizational areas has exemplified a whole range of disciplinary perspectives.
Reflecting something of the astonishing range of Matthew Kapstein’s work and interests, this collection of essays pays tribute to a luminary in the field by exemplifying some of the diverse work in Buddhist and Asian studies that has been impacted by his scholarship and teaching. Engaging matters as diverse as the legal foundations of Tibetan religious thought, the teaching careers of modern Chinese Buddhists, the history of Bhutan, and the hermeneutical insights of Vasubandhu, these essays by students and colleagues of Matthew Kapstein are offered as testament to a singular scholar and teacher whose wide-ranging work is unified by a rare intellectual selflessness.
“Generations of scholars honor one whose work will influence many generations to come.”
– Kurtis R. Schaeffer, Frances Myers Ball Professor of Religion and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
“Keyed to Kapstein's wide-ranging and deeply informed writings on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, the pieces collected here form a brilliant constellation of contemporary perspectives on the history, philosophy, and practice of Buddhism in South and Inner Asia. They illuminate both high-relief issues—such as debates about the nature of the self and the meaning of Buddhist 'wisdom'—and vital but lesser-known topics in areas like Tibetan art history, the evolution of spiritual lineages, and tantric theory and practice. The reader who delves into this book emerges with a profound appreciation for Matthew Kapstein, whose matchless contributions to the field have inspired so many scholars to such excellence.”
– Roger Jackson, John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, emeritus, Carleton College
“This fine volume, filled with gems of scholarship and imagination to engross and reward readers, students, and scholars alike, is a fitting tribute to one of the brightest leading lights of contemporary Buddhology and Tibetology.”
– Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard Divinity School
“Reasons and Lives in Buddhist Traditions reflects the towering position Matthew Kapstein has claimed in the fields of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. The collection records a snapshot of the most important contemporary research on the intellectual traditions of India, Tibet, and the wider Himalayan region.”
– Andrew Quintman, associate professor of religion, Wesleyan University
"Reasons and Lives is a celebration of the life and achievements by a star of Tibetan studies in our generation. It is a true gift to all scholars in the field."
– Yael Bentor, professor emerita, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem