Religion in

Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Assistant Professor
Asian Religions
Office: (205) 348-4218
office hours: Thurs. 3:15-4:00

Also see Prof. Schaeffer's forthcoming books:

An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature

Dreaming the Great Brahmin



Please note: As of August 2005, Prof. Schaeffer was tenured and appointed to the rank of Associate Professor at the University of Virginia.

For more information, please visit here. Or contact him at:

Learn about his final day on campus here.

Kurtis R. Schaeffer joined the department in the fall of 2000 as an Assistant Professor and was awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor a year early, intended to take effect in the Fall of 2005. He holds a Ph.D. in Tibetan and South Asian Religions from the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard University, where he studied under Leonard van der Kuijp. He holds an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Washington.

Schaeffer specializes in the cultural history of Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalayas. His recent research interests include the social history of books in Tibet, women's autobiography in Tibetan Buddhism, and the scholarly medical traditions of Tibet. He is also a contributing member of the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library and the co-chairman of the AAR's Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group.

Throughout all of 2003 Schaeffer was on research leave under the auspices of a Mellon Foundation Fellowship. See more...

Schaeffer regularly teaches classes on Asian Religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and goddess traditions in South Asia. In the Spring 2004 he taught the Department's REL 490 Capstone Senior Seminar.

His recent publications include:

Among Tibetan Tibetan Texts: Essays on the History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau. By E. Gene Smith. Edited with an introduction by Kurtis R. Schaeffer. Wisdom Publications, Boston. 2001.

"The Religious Career of Vairocanavajra-A Twelfth-Century Indian Buddhist Master from Daksina Kosala." Journal of Indian Philosophy 28/4 (2000). pp. 361-384. View a PDF of this essay.

"Printing the Words of the Master: Tibetan Editorial Practice in the Collected Works of 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa'i rdo rje I (1648-1721)." Acta Orientalia 60 (1999). pp. 159-177.

All publications