December 2, 2022

Elevated Learning

Service takes students to new heights in Nepal

Elevated Learning

Service takes students to new heights in Nepal

Hirshberg Receives Asian Studies Award

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, has been awarded Honorable Mention for his first monograph, Remembering the Lotus-Born: Padmasambhava in the History of Tibet’s Golden Age (Wisdom Publications, 2016)from the Association for Asian Studies.

The E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize, offered annually, honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a book on Inner Asia published during the preceding year. There is only one prize, and occasionally one Honorable Mention, awarded each year.

Founded in 1941 and now with over 7000 members world-wide, the Association for Asian Studies is the largest scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional organization of its kind. It is also a member of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

Contemplative garden brings ‘Zen’ to UMW (Fredericksburg Today)

Hirshberg Gives Paper at McGill University

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, delivered a paper titled “Spontaneous Presence: The Rapid Normalization of Padmasambhava’s Iconography in Image (and Text)” at McGill University’s School of Religious Studies (Montréal, Quebec, Canada). Drawn from research he is pursuing for his Jepson Fellowship, this paper focuses on the earliest extant paintings of a renowned 8th ce. master of esoteric Buddhism, and compares them against textual descriptions in Tibetan biographies and liturgies from the same era.

Hirshberg’s Book Reviewed for American Academy of Religion

Remembering the Lotus-Born, the recent monograph by Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, was reviewed in Reading Religion for the American Academy of Religion.


Hirshberg Presents New Research at UVA

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, presented a paper titled “Himalayan Syncretism and the Emergence of Padmasambhava as Rdo rje gro lod” for the Tibet Center, East Asia Center, and Buddhist Studies Group at the University of Virginia (March 15, 2017). Relying primarily on comparative analysis of 12th-14th century Tibetan hagiographies and liturgies, as well as iconographical analysis of painting and statuary, this paper extends beyond the initial apotheosis of Padmasambhava (8th ce.), the subject of Hirshberg’s recent book, to his subsequent elaboration and widespread popularization as the Second Buddha in Tibet.

Hirshberg Co-Edits, Publishes Article in Special Journal Issue

Dan Hirshberg, Assistant Professor of Religion, co-edited and published an article in a special issue of the journal Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris). Focusing on “The Reincarnation Institution in Tibetan Buddhism,” the articles span diverse chronological and methodological foci in considering the foundation, evolution and function of this tradition, from early claims as the rebirths of 8th-century emperors to contemporary Westerners who were recognized and enthroned as the reincarnations of recently deceased masters. Hirshberg’s contribution explores what may be the first conflict between patrilineal and reincarnate inheritance models in Tibet.

UMW Religion Professor to Discuss New Book (

Hirshberg Receives Japan Foundation Grant for Courses, Lecture Series, Media

Dan Hirshberg, Assistant Professor of Religion, won an Institutional Project Support grant from the Japan Foundation, for which he will serve as project director throughout 2017. The grant will fund courses on Japanese religions and politics; a visiting lecture series on Japanese history, culture, politics, and arts; and Japan-related books and media for the Simpson Library.