Living Treasure

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“When wonder adorns wonder, Tibetan nomads sing: ‘Were I to heighten a high thing with something high,/ With clouds I would heighten the collar of the blue sky.’ Here is a heaped cloud offering of essays by distinguished scholars in honor of Janet Gyatso. Plumbing the extraordinary depths of Tibetan language, she has been revealing the riches and wisdom of Tibetan civilization in all its myriad complexities over a lifetime.”—Lama Jabb, author of Oral and Literary Continuities in Modern Tibetan Literature: The Inescapable Nation

“Janet Gyatso truly is a living treasure. She is an inspiration for scholarly excellence in the fascinating dimensions represented in this book—studies in Tibetan literature, the Nyingma tradition, gender and sexuality in Buddhism, early modernity, the more-than-human world, and so much more. But beyond this, she is an example of how to live a life dedicated to intellectual precision, far-ranging curiosity, and wholehearted mentorship.”—Sarah H. Jacoby, author of Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro

“Through the works she has written, the courses she has taught, and the scholars she has mentored, Janet Gyatso has transformed the field of Tibetan Buddhist studies, as the essays in this volume so eloquently attest.”—Donald S. Lopez Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in Honor of Janet Gyatso

Holly Gayley Andrew Quintman

Senior scholars and former students celebrate the life and work of Janet Gyatso, professor of Buddhist studies at Harvard Divinity School. Inspired by her contributions to life writing, Tibetan medicine, gender studies, and more, these offerings make a rich feast for readers interested in Tibetan and Buddhist studies.

Janet Gyatso has made substantial, influential, and incredibly valuable contributions to the fields of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. Her paradigm-shifting approach is to take a topic, an idea, a text, a term—often one that had long been taken for granted or overlooked—and turn it inside out, to radically reimagine the kinds of questions that might be asked and what the answers might reveal. The twenty-nine essays in this volume, authored by colleagues and former students—many of whom are now also colleagues—represent the breadth of her interests and influence, and the care that she has taken in training the current generation of scholars of Tibet and Buddhism. They are organized into five sections: Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Biography and Autobiography; the Nyingma Imaginaire; Literature, Art, and Poetry; and Early Modernity: Human and Nonhuman Worlds. Contributions include José Cabezón on the incorporation of a Buddhist rock carving in Central Asian culture; Matthew Kapstein on the memoirs of an ambivalent reincarnated lama; Willa Blythe Baker on Jikmé Lingpa’s theory of absence; Andrew Quintman on a found poem expressing worldly sadness on the forced closure of a monastery; and Padma ’tsho on Tibetan women’s advocacy for full female ordination. These and the many other chapters, each fascinating reads in their own right, together offer a glowing tribute to a scholar who indelibly changed the way we think about Buddhism, its history, and its literature.

Learn more about the Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism series.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 544 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $59.95
  • ISBN 9781614297796
  • ebook
  • 544 pages
  • $40.99
  • ISBN 9781614298007
about the author
Living Treasure

Holly Gayley is associate professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research examines the revitalization of Buddhism on the Tibetan plateau since the 1980s with a special interest in issues of gender, agency, ethics, and identity in contemporary writings by Buddhist masters and cleric-scholars. Her first book is Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (2016), and she has written several articles on ethical reform by cleric-scholars at Larung Buddhist Academy in Serta for the Journal of Buddhist EthicsContemporary BuddhismHimalaya Journal, and the Journal of Religious Ethics.

Other books by Holly Gayley:
A Gathering of Brilliant Moons

Living Treasure

Andrew Quintman is a scholar of Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalaya, and associate professor in the Department of Religion and the College of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University. He writes, teaches, and lectures about Buddhist literature and history, sacred geography and pilgrimage, and visual cultures of the Himalayan region. His work addresses the intersections of Buddhist literary production, circulation, and reception; the reciprocal influences of textual and visual narratives; and the formation of religious subjectivities and institutional identities. He is also engaged in developing new digital tools for the study and teaching of religion.

His book The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet’s Great Saint Milarepa (Columbia University Press 2014) won the American Academy of Religion’s 2014 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in Textual Studies and the 2015 Heyman Prize for outstanding scholarship from Yale University. It also received honorable mention for the 2016 E. Gene Smith book prize at the Association for Asian Studies. In 2010 his new English translation of the Life of Milarepa was published by Penguin Classics and is currently in its tenth reprint.

Quintman completed his undergraduate studies at Hampshire College and his graduate work at the University of Michigan. He served for seven years as Academic Director of the School for International Training’s Tibetan Studies program based in Kathmandu. Between 2001-2007 he also designed and led a summer program for Tibetan Studies in Tibet offered through the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Wesleyan, he taught at Princeton University, where he held the Cotsen-Mellon Fellowship in the History of the Book in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, and at Yale University.

Quintman currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC) and South Asia book review editor for The Journal of Asian Studies. He is former Co-Chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group of the American Academy of Religion and co-leads an ongoing collaborative workshop on Religion and the Literary in Tibet. He helped establish the Yale Himalaya Initiative for which he served as Faculty Coordinator. From 2015–2017, he was a Collaborative Research Fellow in the ACLS-Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. During 2018–2020, he was a Research Fellow in the ACLS-Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies.

Other books by Andrew Quintman:
Himalayan Passages

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