Category Archives: Buddhist texts

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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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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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

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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

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New project: Jatakas in Indian texts and art

As I sit at home watching the snow build up outside the window (the university is closed for a second day running due to the weather) I am musing about my new research project, an exploration of the uses of … Continue reading

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Hanging out with solitary buddhas

Last autumn I declared it the year of the paccekabuddha (or, in Sanskrit, pratyekabuddha). I have been intrigued by these figures, who are awakened beings from times between Buddhisms, for several years, and wanted to give them some proper attention. … Continue reading

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Have you seen a what’s-it tree?

One of my favourite jātaka stories is the tale of the Kimsuka – or “what’s-it” tree (number 248 in the big Pāli collection). Last year I turned it into a resource for school teachers to use, and last week I … Continue reading

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