Matthew T. Kapstein
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
An international authority on Tibetan and Indian Buddhism, Matthew T. Kapstein has elucidated Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical texts for scholars while attracting a wider public with his introduction to Tibetan cultural history, The Tibetans, and his elegant translation of an eleventh-century Indian satirical allegory, The Rise of Wisdom Moon. His knowledge of classical Tibetan as well as of Sanskrit, Hindi, Nepali, and other languages of research, allows him to span Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese Buddhism and illuminate patterns that others have missed. In his philosophical work, Kapstein has contributed to research on personal identity (Reason's Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism) and religious experience (The Presence of Light), among other topics. In Tibetan Studies, he has investigated the role of Buddhism in Sino-Tibetan relations, past and present (Buddhism Between Tibet and China, and, with anthropologist Melvyn C. Goldstein, Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet), explored the introduction and development of Buddhism in Tibet (The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism) and has led an international project devoted to the history and techniques of Tibetan manuscript culture. His students, in both Chicago and Paris, include prominent scholars in the fields of Buddhist philosophy and of Tibetan studies.