CRCAO member - TBACT Team

Matthew Kapstein

Emeritus professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études


A specialist of Indian and Tibetan philosophies and religions, I have focused in particular on Tibetan Buddhism in relation to its Indian roots. My research activities have involved numerous collaborations with colleagues internationally, in such areas as Indian philosophy, Sino-Tibetan relations, and Tibetan art (and in particular the arts of the book). Publications include Sources of Tibetan Tradition (Columbia University Press 2013), in collaboration with Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia) and Gray Tuttle (Columbia University), a wide-ranging synthesis of the study of Tibetan civilization including some 200 literary extracts in many areas : history, politics, religion, poetry, as well as scientific and technical subjects.

Research thematics

  • Tibetan studies
  • Buddhist studies
  • Indian Philosophies

External research programmes

  • Director of the international project Tibetan Manuscripts and Early Printed Books. To be published in two volumes by the Cornell University Press.

Publications (HAL Archive Ouverte)

  • Matthew Kapstein. The All-Encompassing Lamp of Awareness: A Forgotten Treasure of the Great Perfection, its Authorship and Historical Significance. Unearthing Himalayan Treasures, eds. Volker Caumanns, Marta Sernesi and Nikolai Solmsdorf., Indica et Tibetica Verlag, 2019. ⟨halshs-02503264⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Other People's Philology: Uses of Sanskrit in Tibet and China, 14th -19th Centuries. L’espace du sens.Approches de la philologie indienne/The Space of Meaning.Approaches to Indian Philology., 2018. ⟨hal-02190087⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. A Collection of Kanjur Folios with Four Illustrated Pages from a Rnying ma Tantra. Tibetan Manuscript and Xylograph Traditions, ed. Orna Almogi, Universität Hamburg, 2016. ⟨halshs-02503255⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. “Spiritual Exercise” and Buddhist Epistemologists in India and Tibet. A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, pp.270-289, 2013, ⟨10.1002/9781118324004.ch17⟩. ⟨halshs-03144594⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Stoics and Bodhisattvas: Spiritual Exercise and Faith in Two Philosophical Traditions. Philosophy as a Way of Life, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, pp.99-115, 2013, ⟨10.1002/9781118609187.ch6⟩. ⟨halshs-03144598⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. [Recension] Jean-Marie Verpoorten, La Prakaraṇapañcikā de Śālikanātha, chapitre 6, section 1, Le moyen de connaissance valide et la perception, Traité Mīmāṃsaka d’epistémologie [Textes Philosophiques Sanskrits 1. Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 70].. Indo-Iranian Journal, Brill Academic Publishers, 2019, 62, pp.181 - 189. ⟨10.1163/15728536-06202003⟩. ⟨halshs-02503278⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. A Record of the Teachings of the Great Perfection in the Twelfth-century Zur Tradition. Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, CNRS, 2018. ⟨halshs-02503274⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. [Recension] The Foundation for Yoga Practitioners: The Buddhist Yogācārabhūmi Treatise and Its Adaptation in India, East Asia, and Tibet. Harvard Oriental Series 75.. Indo-Iranian Journal, Brill Academic Publishers, 2017, ⟨10.1163/15728536-06003007⟩. ⟨halshs-02503281⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. [Recension] The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017. ⟨halshs-02503279⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Who Wrote the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa? Reflections on an Enigmatic Text and Its Place in the History of Buddhist Philosophy. Journal of Indian Philosophy, Springer Verlag, 2017. ⟨halshs-02503277⟩