The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies offers an articulated set of fellowship and grant competitions that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies.

Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations support a broad range of endeavor, from the creation of critical editions (with full scholarly apparatus), to translation of canonical texts into modern vernaculars, to the translation of scholarly works on Buddhism from one modern language into another. Both individual and collaborative projects are eligible.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • A critical edition and a Russian translation of Sum pa Mkhan po Ye shes dpal 'byor's Mtsho sngon gyi lo rgyus (History of Kokonor)  |  Abstract

    The project focuses on the “History of Kokonor” (Mtsho sngon gyi lo rgyus) by famous Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhist scholar Sum pa Mkhan po Ye shes dpal ‘byor (1704-1788). The author, being a contemporary witness of many events described, gives a valuable account of secular and religious history of the Mongols and the Tibetans at a turning point of their history when they fell under the hegemony of the Qing dynasty. We propose to provide a book-length manuscript, which will consist of a critical edition of the text, its Russian translation, detailed commentaries, and a comprehensive analysis of Sum pa Mkhan po’s biography and the text’s historical background in relation and comparison with Chinese and Mongolian sources.

    Irina Regbievna Garri
    Irina Regbievna Garri

    Senior Fellow, Department of Religious Studies, Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies

    Hortsang Jigme
    Hortsang Jigme

    Independent Scholar

    Yumzhana Zhabon
    Yumzhana Zhabon

    Senior Research Fellow, Centre of Oriental manuscripts and xylographs, Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies

  • A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Apadāna, Vol. 2  |  Abstract

    The proposed research will produce a critical edition and annotated English translation of chapters five to twenty of the Apadāna, a collection of narrative stories belonging to the Khuddakanikāya of the Pāli canon. The critical edition will be prepared using five Sinhala script manuscripts, three Burmese script manuscripts, the Burmese script Kuthodaw Pagoda inscriptions that preserve the fifth Buddhist council recension, and four previously published printed editions. The corresponding annotated English translation will be produced with reference to the Pāli commentary (Apadānaṭṭhakathā) and an old word-by-word Burmese language nissaya translation. The resulting monograph will be published by the Pali Text Society as the second of a four or five volume set covering the entire text.

    Chris Clark
    Chris Clark

    Affiliated Scholar, Indian Sub-continental Studies, University of Sydney, Australia

  • A study and translation of the Consecration Scripture  |  Abstract

    The Consecration Scripture is a Chinese Buddhist anthology in twelve scrolls, likely compiled in the mid-fifth century CE. The sutras in this collection are overwhelmingly focused on rituals for protection, healing, divination, and the production of merit for the living and the dead. The length and narrative detail of the ritual anthology makes the Consecration Scripture a fascinating resource for understanding Buddhist anxieties, desires, and ritual practices. With its mixture of Buddhist, Daoist, and folk religion, the Consecration Scripture also provides a unique window into Chinese religions of the early medieval period. This is the first monograph-length study and translation of the Consecration Scripture.

    Ryan Richard Overbey
    Ryan Richard Overbey

    Assistant Professor, Religious Studies and Asian Studies, Skidmore College

  • The First Female Buddha: Tara and the Tara-mula-kalpa’s Subsequent Revelation  |  Abstract

    The scripture entitled Tara-mula-kalpa (Tara's Fundamental Ritual Text) documents the emergence of the quintessential female Buddha Tara in seventh-century India. Its contents capture an important Buddhist tantric tradition in mid-formation. In this regard, it presents a singularly unique snapshot of a canonical religious text in a stage of evolution that is seldom, if ever, seen. By examining Tara in the Tara-mula-kalpa with enlightened figures in other early Buddhist Tantras, one learns how Tara was promoted as a female Buddha within the context of primarily male Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. This primary source introduces crucial new material for gender studies in religion and Tara's origins, status, and relationships with other Indian goddess traditions, including the ten Hindu Mahavidyas.

    Susan A Landesman
    Susan A Landesman

    Independent Scholar

  • Translation, Exegesis, and Cross-Cultural Understanding in Third-Century China: A Study and Translation of the Commentary to the Scripture on the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas  |  Abstract

    This project is an edition, translation, and study of the "Commentary to the Scripture on the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas," the only fully extant Chinese-authored scriptural commentary composed during the first two hundred years of Chinese Buddhism. My translation and study of this long-ignored text will allow us to understand how the earliest Chinese readers of Buddhist literature grappled with the first Chinese translations of the basic doctrinal formula and modes of systematic analysis typical of Indian Buddhist exegesis. This will enable a new perspective on the earliest history of Chinese Buddhism that highlights translation, exegesis, and commentary as a transcultural contact zone for new modes of thought in China in the wake of the collapse of the Han dynasty.

    Eric M Greene
    Eric M Greene

    Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Yale University