“Sources and Sentiments in Sugata Saurabha, a mid-20th Century Narrative on the Buddha’s Life from the Kathmandu Valley”
Professor Todd Lewis, Numata Program visiting speaker on
Thursday, November 18, 2010, from 4 – 6 pm
U of T, Munk Centre, Room 208N
Todd Lewis has been Associate Professor of Hinduism and Buddhism at the College of the Holy Cross since 1990. He is a leading authority on the cultures, religions, and peoples of the Himalayan region and the social history of Buddhism. His special research focus for over twenty years has been Buddhism in the Kathmandu Valley, particularly the traditions found among the Newars, the indigenous population of Nepal’s most populous valley. He speaks both the national language of the country, Nepali, as well as the Tibeto-Burman language Nepal Bhasa or Newari that is spoken by the Newars. Beginning with his scholarly training at Columbia University (where he studied Sanskrit and Pali, earning his Ph.D. in Religion 1984), Professor Lewis’ research and teaching has been interdisciplinary, linking anthropology and the history of religions. In addition to scholarly books and articles published in leading academic journals, Professor Lewis has shot, directed, and produced films for classroom use.
Since 1982, Dr. Lewis has been a member of the American Academy of Religion and he was the founding co-chair (1992-1996) of the “Tibetan and Himalayan Religions” group, the first AAR unit whose members are specialists in the region. Professor Lewis has since 1978 been a member of the Nepal Studies Association and he has served as an Associate Editor of the Association’s journal, The Himalayan Research Bulletin, editing the Book Reviews section. Professor Lewis is also an active member in the Asian Studies Association and the International Association of Buddhist Studies. Professor Lewis has been awarded major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Fulbright Senior Faculty Research Program, the American Philosophical Society Research Fellowship, the American Academy of Religion, National Endowment for the Arts, National Geographic, the Social Science Research Council Grant, U.S. Department of Education, Smithsonian Institution, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
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