5. Connie Kassor | History and Philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism

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In this episode, we speak with Dr. Constance Kassor about her beginnings as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, different Tibetan interpretations of emptiness, and how studying history sheds light on philosophy and practice. Plus, we chat about some of our favorite books, articles, and other resources for learning more about Tibetan Buddhism!
We also preview Dr. Kassor's upcoming online course, 104 | Tibetan Buddhism, which will cover the history, schools, philosophy, and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. The course is meant to give an overview of various important aspects of Tibetan history and culture that give students frameworks of understanding that can support future study and practice.
Speaker Bio

Dr. Constance Kassor is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she teaches courses on Buddhist thought and Asian religious traditions. Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty in 2016, she taught Buddhist Studies at Smith College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal.

Connie’s research primarily focuses on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and she is interested in different ways that Tibetan Buddhist scholars understand the cultivation of knowledge. Her forthcoming book, Accounting for Awakened Awareness, examines the nature of knowledge through the lens of the 15th century philosopher Gorampa Sonam Senge. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Connie is also currently translating Gorampa’s extensive Madhyamaka treatise, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don) into English, in collaboration with Khenpo Dr. Ngawang Jorden, principal and abbot of the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal.

Connie has spent several years living, working, and teaching in Buddhist communities in India and Nepal. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle, and has recently published an audio course for The Great Courses and Audible

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Referenced in the Episode

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