Author Archives: naomiappleton

About naomiappleton

I work in the Divinity School at the University of Edinburgh, where I research and teach subjects related to South and Southeast Asian religions.

Labels and cultural imperialism

Allow me a small complaint on the way we talk about (or fail to talk about) the great civilisations of Ancient India. I attended a lecture on comparative philosophy a few months ago, in which the speaker compared the views … Continue reading

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On the joys of concentration

I have been thinking a lot recently about concentration. Concerns about what the internet and smartphones are doing to our ability to concentrate are all over the media. Despite avoiding social media and being rather good at ignoring my phone, … Continue reading

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Research-led teaching, or jātakas jātakas jātakas

We’ve all heard the phrase “research-led teaching”, but what does it mean? Well, this semester I have been reflecting on that question, as I have been teaching a course on jātakas for the first time ever. Alongside the class, which … Continue reading

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Thirty years of the world-wide web

There have been lots of discussions in the past week about the anniversary of the internet. I have been particularly interested to hear about its inventor’s concerns that it isn’t quite living up to his very good intentions. It got … Continue reading

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Offering biscuits to the Buddha

I was in Reading this week, visiting friends, and we went to Reading museum. I particularly enjoyed the gallery dedicated to famous local biscuit factory Huntley & Palmers, for two reasons: (1) many of my ancestors worked at the factory; … Continue reading

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What is a jātaka and how many are there?

My brother is a high school librarian, and he sometimes sets his pupils a library quiz, to test their ability to find certain books and information within them. Recently, presumably out of a desire to entertain his younger sister, he … Continue reading

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Lifelong Learning

One of the “graduate attributes” that we are supposed to be developing in our students is a commitment to lifelong learning. I have always appreciated this one, as a lifelong fan of learning (also known as a professional nerd) myself. … Continue reading

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