Cathy Cantwell

Cathy Cantwell
Cathy Cantwell
Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Profile Summary and research activities

Cathy Cantwell has been based in Canterbury since her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at Kent in 1975-78. Her Ph.D (Kent 1989) was a study of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Northern India, especially focusing on the annual cycle of ritual practice. She has been a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, since 2002, where she took part in a series of funded research projects on Tibetan religious texts of different eras. She is President of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies (from 2015), and has been a KHK Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bochum (October 2015 - September 2016). Her work focuses on Tibetan and Himalayan tantric rituals of all periods from the 10th century CE, and especially the ritual texts and practices deriving from the “Early Transmissions” (snga 'gyur rnying ma). This work has included text critical and historical analysis, as well as ethnographic study of contemporary rituals. One research project (at the University of Cardiff, 2006-2009) examined Tibetan longevity rites, and recent work in Bochum has looked at the embodied and sensual dimension of Tibetan religious practices

Teaching and subject expertise

Cathy has taught widely in Buddhist Studies and Buddhist culture in Asian societies, and supervised and examined research students in Tibetan tantric religious traditions, as well as other studies in Buddhism and Tibetan and Himalayan culture.

Recent Invited Lectures

  • Engaging the Senses in the Tibetan tantric "Major Practice Session" (sgrub chen), Asian Dynamic Initiative, with Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, April 2016.
  • Seeing, Touching, Holding, and Swallowing Tibetan Buddhist Texts, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, May 2016.

Major publications

  • Authors and Editors in the Literary Traditions of Asian Buddhism, Special Edition (jointly edited with Robert Mayer, Jowita Kramer and Stefano Zacchetti) of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (Volume 36/37, 2015: 195-562).
  • A Noble Noose of Methods, the Lotus Garland Synopsis: A Mahāyoga Tantra and its Commentary” (together with Robert Mayer), Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2012. Buddhism: The Basics, London, Routledge, 2010.
  • Early Tibetan Documents on Phur pa from Dunhuang (with Robert Mayer), Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2008.
  • The Kīlaya Nirvāṇa Tantra and the Vajra Wrath Tantra: two texts from the Ancient Tantra Collection (with Robert Mayer), Vienna, The Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2007.

Recent Book Chapters and Refereed Journal Articles

  • "The Medicinal Accomplishment (sman sgrub) practice in the Dudjom Meteoric Iron Razor (gnam lcags spu gri) tradition: Reflections on the ritual and meditative practice at a monastery in Southern Bhutan", in Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies (JOCBS) 2015, Volume 8: 49 95.
  • "The Winged and the Fanged" (with Robert Mayer), in Hanna Havnevik and Charles Ramble (eds) Bhakti to Bon. Festschrift for Per Kværne, 2015, The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture, Oslo: 153-170.
  • "Longevity Rituals in the Bon Phur pa tradition: Chapter 25 of the Black Pillar" (with Robert Mayer), in Charles Ramble and Ulrike Roesler (eds) Tibetan and Himalayan Healing: an Anthology for Anthony Aris, 2015, Vajra Books, Kathmandu: 107-118.
  • "Development of a Tantric Meditation Practice: Three Generations of Tibetan Lamas", in Buddhist Meditative Traditions: Their Origin and Development, 2014, Dharma Drum Buddhist College Special Series, no. 2, Taipei, Shin Wen Feng Print Co.: 373-403.
  • "Representations of Padmasambhava in Early Post-Imperial Tibet" (with Robert Mayer), in Christoph Cüppers, Robert Mayer, and Michael Walter (eds), Tibet After Empire: Culture, Society and Religion between 850-1000, 2013, Lumbini International Research Institute: 19-50.
  • "Neither the same nor different: The Bon Ka ba Nag po in relation to contemporaneous rNying ma Phur pa texts" (with Robert Mayer), in Brandon Dotson, Kazushi Iwao and Tsuguhito Takeuchi (eds), Scribes, Texts, and Rituals in Early Tibet and Dunhuang, 2013, Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag: 87-100.
  • (with Robert Mayer) "The Bon Ka ba nag po and the Rnying ma phur pa tradition" in The Journal of the International Association for Bon Research, Volume 1, December 2013: 37-53. The International Association for Bon Research, .
  • "Restoring the text of a Mahāyoga tantra witnessed in Early Tibet: an early version of the 'Phags pa thabs kyi zhags pa pad ma 'phreng gi don bsdud pa " (with Robert Mayer), in The Journal of the International Association for Bon Research , Volume 1, December 2013: 319-332. The International Association for Bon Research, .
  • "The creation and transmission of a textual corpus in the twentieth century: the 'Chi med srog thig " (with Robert Mayer), in Anne Chayet, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Françoise Robin, Jean-Luc Achard (eds), Edition, éditions: l'écrit au Tibet, évolution et devenir , 2010.  Munich: Indus Verlag, Collectanea Himalayica: 65-83.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 10:29:00