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.

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

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist texts, Jataka, Religious narrative | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

Silver Athena SWAN award

Last week we at the School of Divinity heard that we had been successful in getting a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of efforts we have been making towards creating an inclusive and supportive environment for staff and students … Continue reading

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Yasodhara

I love reading novels as well as academic books, but usually these two categories are firmly separate. Recently this separation broke down as I read Vanessa Sasson’s novel about the Buddha’s long-suffering wife, called Yasodhara and available from Speaking Tiger Books. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Buddhism, Buddhist texts, gender, Publications, Religious narrative | 2 Comments

Tax avoidance in the Avadānaśataka

One of the things that always delights me about studying ancient Indian narrative is the way in which it so often resonates with contemporary concerns. The Avadānaśataka, a Sanskrit Buddhist compendium of tales that I have been working on in … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist texts, Religious narrative | 1 Comment

How reliable are student evaluations of teaching?

Last week I got my results back on semester 2’s teaching, and much hilarity ensued! As many universities, Edinburgh now uses an online system to collect numerical scores on each course, along with some free text comments. The comments are … Continue reading

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Digital scroll of the Vessantara Jataka

Following my post yesterday, about a digitised scroll of the Mahābhārata, Leedom Lefferts got in touch to share a link to a digitised scroll of the Vessantara Jātaka! It is a rather different – even more magical – experience, since … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Buddhism, Jataka, Publications, Religious narrative | Leave a comment