325C Milam Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-3902
Indian and Tibetan Intellectual History, Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy, Contemporary Buddhist Thought, Justice
Jim Blumenthal has been on the faculty at Oregon State University since completing his Ph.D. in 1999. His research is in the history of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Blumenthal's primary areas of interest are in Indian and Tibetan intellectual history, Buddhist hermeneutics, Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, theories of non-violence, and religious based social justice movements.
His first book, The Ornament of the Middle Way: A Study of the Madhyamaka Thought of Śāntarakṣita (2004) investigates the eighth century Indian Buddhist philosopher's thought along with Tibetan interpretations of the same. Included in the study are translations of Śāntarakṣita's seminal text, The Ornament of the Middle Way, along with important philosophical materials from the Tibetan which have never before been available in Western languages including rGyal-tshab's dbU ma rgyan gyi brjed byang (Remembering 'The Ornament of the Middle Way').
Blumenthal also edited an anthology entitled Incompatible Visions: South Asian Religion in History and Culture (2006) which includes essays from a number of leading scholars in the field addressing some of the ironies and inconsistencies found in and at the crossroads of South Asian Religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. His own contribution is an article entitled, "Ambedkar's Buddhism,The Four Noble Truths, and Social Justice: A Doctrinal Appraisal."
He is the co-author and editor (with Geshe Lhundup Sopa) of Steps on the Path: A Commentary on the "Shamatha" Chapter of Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo (2012) in addition to more than 40 articles in academic journals, books, and popular periodicals on various aspects of Buddhist thought and practice.
In 2004, Blumenthal had the honor of translating Nagarjuna's Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning for His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of His teaching on the text in Los Angeles.
Jim has spent nearly three years in Asia, primarily living in Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal.
After his B.A. and before returning to grad school, Blumenthal worked for the international environmental group, Greenpeace, for four years and was active with several other organizations working for peace and social justice. This work led to several arrests for participation in non-violent acts of civil disobedience. He remains committed to issues of peace and justice.
Steps on the Path:
co-author and editor
(Center for South Asia,
|The Ornament of the Middle Way:
A Study of the Madhyamaka
Thought of Śāntarakṣita
(Snow Lion Publications, 2004)