The study of Buddhism and Buddhist cultures has a long history at Yale stretching back to the nineteenth century. Several generations of scholars of Buddhism working at institutions around the world trained at Yale, and Yale has always been a global hub in the field of Buddhist Studies, generating innovative research, ideas, and conversations.

At present, faculty members whose research intersects with the field of Buddhist Studies are found in the departments of History, East Asian Languages and Literatures, History of Art, Religious Studies, the South Asian Studies Council, and the Yale University Art Gallery. The work of these scholars and graduate students across all of these departments and programs touches on many aspects of Buddhism and Buddhist cultures from the ancient world down to the present day, with a particular strength in the area of Buddhism in East Asia.

Under the auspices of the Council on East Asian Studies, the Yale Buddhist Studies Initiative brings together the various individuals and units at Yale interested in the scholarly study of Buddhism and coordinates the many associated scholarly events, courses, conferences, and outreach activities. We host visiting scholars, a lecture series, and conferences and other events focused on the study of Buddhism in all its contexts, with the aim of furthering the cross-disciplinary and transregional conversations that are of value to the global turn of the humanities at Yale.


Dadaist art exhibition at the Yale Art Gallery
February 11, 2016
In 1916, a group of young men and women from across Europe came together in Zurich and shook the foundations of the art world. Firmly anti-authoritarian, they started an art...
Graduate student Mengnan Zhao, shown here on an ice floe in the Arctic Circle.
January 20, 2016
In Reina Maruyama’s line of work, you can’t call yourself a real scientist until you’ve flirted with frostbite while scouting for subatomic particles at the South Pole. Bone-...
Illustration of birds
October 7, 2015
Cardinals and woodpeckers evolved from a hawk-like ancestor and most of the world’s water birds also appear to be a close-knit group, indicating one avian lineage quickly...