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Stories from Our Students

Connecting art and religion

We visited caves at the Mogao and Yulin Grottoes, many of which are rarely open to the public. Dunhuang was a perfect site to negotiate issues of global vs. the postglobal. Interdisciplinary collaboration between international scholars of history, art, and religion should be encouraged.

Discovering India, discovering myself

Once we made it to India I understood why people love traveling. There is enjoyment in being in a new place and seeing a new culture. But maybe what is really best about traveling is that it helps you understand and appreciate yourself.

Friends in high places

On the way to Myanmar I stopped in Japan to meet with scholars there studying Southeast Asia, Burmese Buddhism and Pali philology. In Myanmar I studied Burmese and also acquired numerous new materials crucial to my research, including an invaluable anthology of twenty-first century interpretations of Ū Nārada’s controversial writings.

Buddhist texts and life in Nepal

Nepal is a place full of opportunities to learn about religion, as well as humanity and its resilience. After the devastating earthquake, people continue their practice of the Dharma despite economic and political difficulties. Inspirational is one of the many things one could call this experience. My research in Nepal is not over but has just begun.

Life in a nunnery

I lived for nine months in a Buddhist nunnery in Myanmar, conducting research on nuns’ training. Around Mandalay we met with locals and astrologers to ask how rituals adapt to current conditions. I miss the simple things we did there, like taking walks with the nuns to the river each evening and joining the nuns chanting Paṭṭhāna.

From Buddhism to bioethics

Alongside beginning a career as a bioethicist, I have interviewed people from Buddhist Jain, and Hindu traditions for my dissertation research. I am investigating end-of-life decision-making and the effect of migration, gender and vulnerability on healthcare access.

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