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Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University

May 3rd, 2010

Area of Expertise: Religion, War and Conflict
Geographical Expertise - Region: Asia, North America
Geographical Expertise - Country: China
Languages: English, French, Tibetan
Field of Work: Academia, Think tank/Research center
City: New York
Country: USA
Continent: North America


Robert Thurman Robert ThurmanRobert A. F. “Tenzin” Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, the President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of the Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences. The New York Times recently hailed him as “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”

A close personal friend of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for more than forty-five years, he is a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, co-founder with Richard Gere of Tibet House in New York City. Time magazine named him one of the “25 Most Influential Americans.”

Professor Thurman translates Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings, lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism; on Asian history, emphasizing the monastic institution; and on critical philosophy, focusing on the material and inner sciences of the world’s religious traditions. He has popularized the Buddha’s teachings as both a charismatic speaker and as author. Books include: Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Infinite Life, Inner Revolution, The Jewel Tree of Tibet, and Why the Dalai Lama Matters.

Thurman’s knowledge of Tibetan history and culture is often sought by policy makers. He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Huffington Post, been interviewed on NPR and PBS, been profiled in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, People and Time. He has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, The News Hour, Charlie Rose, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He is a tireless advocate of justice and freedom for the Tibetan nation, within or without China.

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