Robert Thurman, PhD, is a worldwide authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, world philosophy, Buddhist science, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as an eloquent advocate of the relevance of Buddhist ideas to our daily lives. In doing so, Thurman has become a leading voice of the value of reason, peace, and compassion. He was named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans and has been profiled by the New York Times and People magazine.
Thurman travels internationally, lecturing to universities, companies, conferences, and think tanks. He is a gifted communicator who can make complex concepts understandable introducing challenging ideas with intelligence and humor in a down to earth and comprehensible way.
Thurman’s work is grounded in more than 35 years of academic scholarship. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Harvard University and has studied in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India and the United States. In 1962, he became the first American ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He gave up his robes after several years, however, when he discovered he could be most effective in the American equivalent of the monastery: the university. Thurman also personally translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings, and lectures and writes on Buddhism, Asian history, and critical philosophy. His scholarly and popular writings focus on the “inner revolution” that individuals and societies successfully negotiate when they achieve enlightenment.
He reasons passionately that H. H. the Dalai Lama, a true man with no worldly rank, is the most practical leader of world leaders, with principles that must be heeded by them to avert the worst outcomes of our present global crisis: nonviolent dialogue in place of war, environmental restoration in place of consumerist exploitation, inter-religious mutual affirmation in place of ideological competition, hope and determination in place of cynicism and denial. When these are widely implemented, we cannot fail to have a world renaissance of an amazing peace, beauty, compassionate justice, and shared joy.
What People are Saying About Robert Thurman
“[Robert Thurman is] the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”
—The New York Times
“Buoyed by unbridled optimism, [Thurman] is unafraid to take a spiritual stand.”