Buddhist Scholars

Michael von Brück
Prof. Dr. Michael von Brück is head of the Interfaculty Program of Religious Studies at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich/Germany. He studied Theology, Indology and Comparative Linguistics at Rostock University, Indian Philosophy and Religion at Madras University. He specializes in Advaita Vedânta and Mahâyâna-Buddhism. Besides, he received a four years training in Yoga at a Yoga Institute in Madras and studied Zen-Buddhism in theory and practice in Japan. After a visiting professorship at Gurukul Lutheran College in Madras 1980 until 1985 he became Prof. of Comparative Religion at the University of Regensburg in 1988. In 1991 he took over the chair of Religious Studies at the University of Munich.
José Ignacio Cabezón
José Ignacio Cabezón was born in Cuba and raised in Boston. He has a B.S., with an emphasis in physics, from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Gelugpa order for almost ten years, living and studying for six of those years at Sera Monastery in South India. In the 1980s he served periodically as a translator for H. H. the Dalai Lama. Cabezón is currently XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, and Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include Buddhist and comparative philosophy; inter-religious dialogue; the study of sexuality and gender; and theory and methods in the study of religion. He has published some 14 books and almost 100 articles. His most recent publications include Tibetan Ritual (Oxford, 2010), and, with the Dalai Lama, Meditation on the Nature of Mind (Wisdom, 2011).
David Chappell (1940–2004)
David Wellington Chappell (1940–2004) was a professor of Buddhist studies whose specialties were Chinese Buddhist traditions (esp. Tiantai) and interreligious dialogue.
Ven. Tampalawela Dhammaratana
Ven. Dr. Tampalawela Dhammaratana, French and Sri Lankan national, was born in Sri Lanka and received his traditional Buddhist education from Sangharaja Pirivena in Kandy and Sunetradevi University College. He obtained his BA from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, He completed his French language Diplomas and received his Master’s Degree in Philosophy at Paris University and obtained his M.Phil and Ph.D Degrees in Comparative Indian Philosophy from the University of Sorbonne (Paris IV), under the guidance of Prof. Michel Hulin in 1989 and 1994 respectively. In 1999, he joined UNESCO as a Consultant at the Division of Philosophy and Ethics and successfully contributed to implement the program of ‘Universal Ethics’. He also contributed to UNESCO Program of ‘the History of Humanity, Scientific and Cultural Development’, published by UNESCO in 2008. At present he is a Consultant and the Director of Buddhist Links at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France and contributes in the promotion of Buddhist Education, culture, humanitarian and social development, and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritages in Worldwide.
Steven Goodman
Professor Steven Goodman is Director of Research and Core Faculty for Asian and Comparative Studies Department, at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He received his Ph.D. (1984) in Far Eastern Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, specializing in Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Herbert V. Guenther. He has lectured on Buddhist and comparative philosophy for over 25 years in the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 1994 he was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship for the study of Tibetan mystical poetry at the Rice University Center for Cultural Studies.

Professor Goodman serves as a Board Advisor to the Khyentse Foundation, and is on the Working Committee for the84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha. He is the co-editor of Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation and a contributor to Mindfulness and Meaningful Work and his most recent book, The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening: Explorations in the Abhidharma, is forthcoming, Shambhala Publications.

Ananda W.P. Guruge (deceased)
Dr. Ananda W.P. Guruge was a pre-eminent Sri Lankan Buddhist Scholar, notable Historian, International Civil Servant and Diplomat, and world recognised Buddhist leader. For more details, see the link.
Ruben Habito
Dr Ruben Habito is a Professor of World Religions and Spirituality at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is also Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Habito completed his doctoral studies at Tokyo University in 1978, and taught at Sophia University in Tokyo. He is the author of numerous books on Buddhism including Experiencing Buddhism: Ways of Wisdom and Compassion, Living Zen, Loving God, Healing Breath: Zen Spirituality for a Wounded Earth, Shinran to no Deai Kara (From My Encounters with Shinran) and many others in Japanese and English. He was President of the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies from 2003 to 2005, and serves as spiritual director and Teacher (Roshi) at Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas.
Maria Reis Habito
Maria Reis Habito is the International Program Director of the Museum of World Religions and the Director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute USA. She studied Chinese Language and Culture at Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and received her M.A. in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies and Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich. She was a research fellow at Kyoto University and completed her Ph.D. at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet. Dr. Reis Habito represents Dharma Master Hsin Tao on the steering committee.
Richard P. Hayes
Richard P. Hayes, professor emeritus, specialized in Indian philosophy in the Sanskrit and Indian Studies department of University of Toronto. After earning his doctorate there, he taught religious studies at University of Toronto and McGill University and Asian philosophy at the University of New Mexico. He was subject editor for the Indian philosophy entries of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and for the entries on Buddhism in the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy and has published numerous articles and book chapters on Indian Buddhist scholasticism.
Sallie King
Sallie B. King is Professor Emerita at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) and Affiliate Faculty, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of Theology, Georgetown University (Washington, DC). She is author of Socially Engaged Buddhism and Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, and co-editor (with Christopher S. Queen) of Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia.
Alan Lew (1943-2009)
Rabbi Alan Lew was an influential religious leader, scholar and activist. For more details, see the link.
Ven. Dagpo Rinpoche
In Tibetan Buddhism Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche is considered a fortulku – a reincarnation of spiritual teachers who vow to benefit all sentient beings. In 1978 he founded the Tibetan Buddhist centre Guépèle Tchantchoup Ling at L’Haÿ-les-Roses, near Paris. Rinpoche has created several other Buddhist centres in France and abroad: in Holland, Switzerland and South-East Asia, which he visits frequently. Since he has been living in France for nearly fifty years, he is very familiar with Western mentality and speaks both French and English. He has co-authored many books and articles on Tibet and Buddhism and has often appeared as a guest on radio and television shows. Rinpoche travels regularly to India to teach in his monastery and to continue receiving guidance from his own spiritual masters.
Sulak Sivaraksa
Sulak Sivaraksa, born in 1933, is a prominent and outspoken Thai intellectual and social critic. He is a teacher, a scholar, a publisher, an activist, the founder of many organisations, such as the Thai NGO “Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation”, and initiator of a number of social, humanitarian, ecological and spiritual movements and organizations in Thailand. Known in the West as one of the fathers of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), established in 1989, Sulak Sivaraksa is also an author of more than a hundred books and monographs in both Thai and English. Educated in England and Wales, Sulak returned to Siam in 1961 at the age of 28 and founded Sangkhomsaat Paritat (Social Science Review). He learned that to truly serve society, one must stay in touch with the poor people. Beginning in the late 1960s he became involved in a number of service-oriented, rural development projects, in association with Buddhist monks and the student activist community. During the 1970s Sulak began to develop indigenous, sustainable, and spiritual models for change. Since then he has expanded his work to the regional and international levels. He has co-founded the Asian Cultural Forum on Development and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. In 1976 Sulak was forced into exile. He was able to continue his activist work in the West. He lectured at the University of California Berkeley, Cornell University, the University of Toronto, and throughout Europe. In 1984 he was arrested in Bangkok on charges of criticising the King, but international protest led to his eventual release. In 1991 another warrant was issued for his arrest and Sulak was forced into political exile once more. He came back to fight the case in the court in 1992 and won in 1995. At the end of that year he was granted the Right Livelihood Award, also known as Alternative Nobel Prize, and in 2011, Sulak Sivaraksa was awarded Niwano Peace Prize.
Evgeny Torchinov (1956-2003)
Evgeny Torchinov was a sinologist, buddhologist, professor, and translator. He is best known as an eminent Russian researcher of ancient Chinese religion and philosophy, author of many books and translations of classical Chinese texts (especially, Buddhist and Taoist) into Russian. He founded the chair of Eastern philosophy and cultures at St. Petersburg State University.

Between 1984 and until 1994, he worked as researcher in St.Peterburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences. In 1994 he defends his second doctoral degree titled “Taoism: An attempt of historico-religios description”. In 1998 he became Chair of Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies at St. Pereburg State University, and in 1999 created and led the chair of OrientalPhilosophy and Cultures.

Torchinov also worked as a visiting professor at University of Sascatoon, Canada. He died on July 12, 2003, in St. Peterburg.