|OCBS News May 2012|
|Report from Richard Gombrich|
|Visit of HH the Gyalwang Drukpa|
|Volume Two of the JOCBS|
|Ensuring Pali Scholarship|
|Centre for Applied Buddhism|
Excerpt from the Editorial of Volume Two of JOCBS
"A remarkable feature of this volume, which I heartily welcome, is the variety of contributors – a fact which cannot but make for variety in the contributions. More remarkable still is that more than half the pages are written by people who do not hold academic posts. If we are thus enlarging the range of people who make serious contributions to Buddhist studies, I believe that at least we are doing one thing right. In many countries, I know, academics work under such pressure from their employers, with so much teaching and (often pointless) administration, that it is hard for them to produce any research, let alone research which is both original and accessible to non-specialists; I intend to write about this in the near future.
For the moment, however, let me celebrate the contributions made by those who for various reasons are not employed in academia. I cannot specify all of them here, but I must draw attention to a couple. Linda Blanchard has never worked in education; as a Buddhist scholar she has no formal training and is virtually self-taught. Yet she has sent me an exciting new interpretation of the Buddha’s teaching of dependent origination. She and I realise that so ambitious a theory is bound to be controversial, and that only time will tell what the world will make of it; but I am confident that at the very least it deserves to be taken seriously. Taking it seriously also meant that I had to break my rule of imposing a limit on articles of ten thousand words, because I could not weaken her presentation of her case by curtailing the amount of evidence that she could present.
Peter Roberts is a self-employed scholar, who mainly earns whatever he earns as a Tibetan translator and interpreter. He is incapable of blowing his own trumpet. Tucked away near the end of his article is an explanation of the origin of the name Avalokiteśvara. How much effort has been spent on this problem! Peter has found what seems to me must be the solution, but is so modest that he just mentions it in passing, so that it could easily go unnoticed."
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