Lecturer in Philosophy
Edward Arnold’s work focuses on the full intellectual and cultural assimilation of Indian Buddhism in Tibet’s dynamic classical period (14th-16th centuries), particularly on the scholastic debates over the relationships among deconstructive analytic philosophy (Madhyamaka, dbu ma), logic and epistemology (pramana, tshad ma), monastic ethics (Vinaya, dul bya), and esoteric practice (tantra, sngags).
More About Me
His dissertation, entitled Lama Tsong Khapa: Reconfiguring the Socio-Religious Field of Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist Tibet, studies the thought of the towering 14th/15th century scholar-yogi Je Tsong Khapa Losang Dragpa in relation to his earliest biography, Haven of Faith (dad pa’i ‘jug ngogs), detailing the related processes of narrative self-creation in autobiography and in the esoteric practices of Unexcelled Yoga Tantra. Arnold analyzes how Tsong Khapa integrates Chandrakirti’s deconstructive, ordinary language philosophy and tantric practice, particularly the Guhyasamaja (gsang dus) system into a comprehensive curriculum that formed the basis for the Ganden order that, under successive Dalai Lamas, spread throughout Tibet to Mongolia and China. Arnold has significant interest in the Unexcelled Yoga Tantras and the ongoing dialogue between Buddhism and the sciences, both of which are reflected in his edited volume As Long As Space Endures: Essays on the Kalachakra Tantra in Honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years as a volunteer at Namgyal Monastery Institute for Buddhist Studies where, as board chair he helped to coordinate the joint Cornell University-Ithaca College and its ‘Bridging Worlds’ educational program. Future research efforts will relate to these varied interests, but with a particular focus on unpacking the groundbreaking writings of Je Tsong Khapa.