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. About Padmasambhava: Historical Narratives and Later Transformations of Guru Rinpoche, edited by Geoffrey Samuel and Jamyang Oliphant.. Buddhist Studies Review, 2022, 39 (1), ⟨10.1558/bsrv.23617⟩. ⟨hal-03892808⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Review of Steven Collins’s Wisdom as a Way of Life: Theravāda Buddhism Reimagined. Journal of Religion, 2022, 102 (4), pp.555-559. ⟨10.1086/721812⟩. ⟨hal-03892803⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Recent Scholarship on Mongolian Buddhism. H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2022. ⟨hal-03894765⟩
  • 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, 2019, 62, pp.181 - 189. ⟨10.1163/15728536-06202003⟩. ⟨halshs-02503278⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. L'oubli des Russes: An (Almost) Forgotten Chapter in the History of 19th-century Orientalism. Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 2019, ⟨10.3917/rip.287.0079⟩. ⟨hal-03893142⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Review of History of Indian Philosophy, by Purushottama Bilimoria, Editor-in Chief; J.N. Mohanty, Amy Rayner, John Powers, Stephen Phillips, Richard King, and Christopher Key Chapple, Associate Editors, Routledge History of World Philosophies. Sophia, 2019, 58 (4), pp.761-762. ⟨10.1007/s11841-019-00741-z⟩. ⟨hal-03892800⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Collins and Parfit Three Decades On. Sophia, 2018, 57 (2), pp.207-210. ⟨10.1007/s11841-018-0662-9⟩. ⟨hal-03893144⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. A Record of the Teachings of the Great Perfection in the Twelfth-century Zur Tradition. Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, 2018. ⟨halshs-02503274⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. Who Wrote the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa? Reflections on an Enigmatic Text and Its Place in the History of Buddhist Philosophy. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 2017. ⟨halshs-02503277⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. [Recension] The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2017. ⟨halshs-02503279⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. David M. Divalerio : The Holy Madmen of Tibet. xv, 342 pp. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. ISBN 978 0 19 939121 9.. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2017, 80 (2), pp.391-392. ⟨10.1017/S0041977X17000635⟩. ⟨hal-03893301⟩
  • Matthew Kapstein. The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra. By Jacob P. Dalton. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2017, 85 (2), pp.559-561. ⟨10.1093/jaarel/lfx009⟩. ⟨hal-03892850⟩
  • 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, 2017, ⟨10.1163/15728536-06003007⟩. ⟨halshs-02503281⟩