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George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies
Professor Harrison specializes in Buddhist literature and history, especially that of the Mahayana, and the study of Buddhist manuscripts in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan. His research interests also include the history of the Tibetan canon, as well as revelation and authority in the Buddhist tradition. He is Co-Director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford.
Harrison is currently working on editions and translations of a number of Mahayana and Mainstream Buddhist sutras, including the Vajracchedika (Diamond Sutra), as well as a general study of issues of authority, textual transmission and innovation in Mahayana Buddhism. He is the author of The Samadhi of Direct Encounter with the Buddhas of the Present, and of numerous journal articles on Buddhist sacred texts and their interpretation.
He is also involved in a project to reconstruct, edit, and translate manuscripts recently discovered in Afghanistan and held in the Schøyen Collection in Oslo, and is one of the editors of the series Buddhist Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection. Additionally, he has just completed Volume One of a catalogue of the Tibetan manuscript holdings of Tabo monastery in northern India. Professor Harrison taught at the University of Canterbury for 22 years before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007.
- Diamond Sutra, forthcoming, Spring 2009.
- Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Buddhist Manuscripts series. Ed., with Jens Braarvig, Jens-Uwe Hartmann, Kazunobo Matsuda and Lore Sander. Oslo: Hermes Pub., 2007.
- Several articles in Buddhism: critical concepts in religious studies, Ed. Paul Williams. New York: Routledge, 2005.
- “Mediums and Messages: Reflections on the Production of Mahāyāna Sūtras,” Eastern Buddhist 35.1 (2003): 115-151.
- The Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra, translated by Lokak ṣema; translated from the Chinese by Paul Harrison. Berkeley, CA : Numata Center, 1998.
- Sūryacandrāya : essays in honour of Akira Yuyama on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Ed. with Gregory Schopen. Swisttal-Odendorf : Indica et Tibetica Verlag, 1998.
- Druma-kinnara-rāja-paripṛcchā-sūtra : a critical edition of the Tibetan text (recension A) based on eight editions of the Kanjur and the Dunhuang manuscript fragment. Studia Philologica Buddhica monograph series, 7. Tokyo: International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 1992.
- The Samādhi of direct encounter with the Buddhas of the present: an annotated English translation of the Tibetan version of the Pratyutpanna-Buddha-saṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi-sūtra with several appendices relating to the history of the text. Studia Philologica Buddhica monograph series, 5. Tokyo: International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 1990.
Prof. Harrison in the News
- Buying, selling, owning the past
Stanford Multidisciplinary Teaching and Research, January 2009
- Hong Kong-based Ho Family Foundation gives $5 million to expand, strengthen Stanford Buddhist studies program
Stanford Report, July 9, 2008
- Tibet scholars and China: a letter
openDemocracy.com, April 22, 2008
- China Regulates Buddhist Reincarnation
Newsweek, August 20-27, 2007
- New Faculty Appointed in East Asian Studies
Horizons (Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford Newsletter), Fall 2007
- Buddhist treasures rescued from Afghanistan
University of Canterbury News, February 19, 2003
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