the Life of the Buddha Team


The Life of the Buddha project is supported by a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies, the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, and the Web Technologies Group of Yale University's Information Technologies Services.

Project Directors

Andrew Quintman

Andrew Quintman is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Wesleyan University. He is author of The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet’s Great Saint Milarepa, (Columbia University Press, 2014), recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s 2014 award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the field of textual studies, and the 2015 Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarship at Yale University. His translation of The Life of Milarepa appeared in the Penguin Classics series (2010) and has become a standard textbook for courses on Buddhism, World Religions, and World Literature. He is co-editor of Himalayan Passages (Wisdom, 2014) and author of numerous articles on Tibetan and Himalayan history, literature, and religious culture. He is former co-chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group at the American Academy of Religion, where he also co-leads an ongoing seminar on Tibetan Religious Literature with Kurtis Schaeffer.

Kurtis R. Schaeffer

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is the author or editor of three books published by Columbia University Press: The Culture of the Book in Tibet (2009), Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013), and The Tibetan History Reader (2013). He is also the author of Himalayan Hermitess (2004) and Dreaming the Great Brahmin (2005), both from Oxford University Press, An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature (Harvard Oriental Series), and a translation of The Life of the Buddha with Penguin Classics. He is also the author of two other edited volumes, and more than twenty articles on various aspects of Tibetan history, literature, and culture. He is Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he co-directs the largest Tibetan studies program in the country. He co-leads an ongoing seminar on Tibetan Religious Literature with Andrew Quintman.

Project Associates

Rinchen Dorje

Rinchen Dorje is a graduate student at the University of Virginia.

Christopher Hiebert

Christopher Hiebert is a doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. His research interests generally concern the historical development of literary and religious culture in South Asia, Tibet, and the Himalayan region, with a specific focus on institutional developments in the Tibetan Nyingma school during the 19th and early 20th centuries. His dissertation will investigate the historical development and rhetorical functions of the “verses of homage” that generally preface Tibetan Buddhist texts and serve as an important locus for the rhetorical construction of sectarian and institutional identities. In his spare time, he is likely to be either following Wikipedia links to some obscure topic or hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains with his partner and their preternaturally intelligent rescue dog, Tashi.

Ariana Maki

Ariana Maki earned her doctorate in Art History with a specialization in Himalayan Buddhist iconography. Her research interests include the relationships between text, politics and visual representation, the development of Himalayan visual arts, and the intersections of image and ritual. Currently, Ariana is Associate Director of the Tibet Center and Bhutan Initiative at the University of Virginia and maintains a research affiliation with the National Library and Archives of Bhutan.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson recently completed her PhD Thesis entitled “Painted Books for Plaster Walls: Visual Words in the Fourteenth Century Tibetan Buddhist Temple of Shalu” at the University of Toronto in early 2016. She remains particularly interested in relationships between images and texts in Tibetan religious art and the unique role of art in communicating complex literary structures. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where she teaches courses on art and Buddhism, and is curating an exhibition of Tibetan art at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada

Further Contributors

Additional contributors to the project include Seth Auster-Rosen (Yale University), Becky Bloom (Yale University), Priyankar Chand (Yale University), Yong Cho (Yale University), and Peter Jang (Yale University).


Technical Development 

Technical development and support by the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), and formerly by Yale Web Technologies, Yale Information Technology Services, and Yale Instructional Technology Group.