Distinguished Professor, Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Department: Asian Languages & Cultures
UCLA Asian Languages and Cultures
Address2: 238A Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
Campus Mail Code: 154003
Keywords: China, Japan, Asia, Religion, India, Buddhist Studies
Gregory Schopen work focuses on Indian Buddhist monastic life and early Mahāyāna movements. By looking beyond the Pali Canon in favor of less commonly used sources such as the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya and Indian Buddhist stone inscriptions, his numerous scholarly works have shifted the field away from Buddhism as portrayed through its own doctrines toward a more realistic picture of the actual lives of Buddhists, both monastic and lay. In this sense, he has seriously challenged many assumptions and myths about Buddhism that were first perpetuated in earlier Western scholarship. In 1985 he received the MacArthur Grant for his work in the field of History of Religion. He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. Many of his articles have been published in three volumes dedicated to his work: Figments and Fragments of Mahayana Buddhism in India (University of Hawai'i Press, 2005), Buddhist Monks and Business Matters (University of Hawai'i Press, 2004), and Bones, Stones and Buddhist Monks (University of Hawai'i Press, 1997). In addition to his major impact on Buddhist studies as well as the larger field of Religious Studies, Dr. Schopen continues to be a dominant force on the basketball court for the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA.