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Updated: Feb 12

I write with the sad news of the death of Pāli scholar Kenneth Roy Norman, born in 1925, and the same age as Sangharakshita. His translations of early Buddhist texts in verse are more scholarly than poetic, but allow modern Western Buddhists to get close to the word of the Buddha. Rupert Gethin, President of the Pali Text Society writes:


"Roy or Mr Norman, as he liked to be known, was one of the great scholars of Middle Indo-Aryan philology. His academic career was spent almost entirely in Cambridge. He completed an MA at Cambridge in 1954 and went on to become Lecturer in Indian Studies (1954–1978), then Reader in Indian Studies (1978–1990), before being appointed Professor of Indian Studies in 1990, shortly before his retirement in 1992.


"His scholarly contribution to the field of Pali studies has been immense, but his output covered also Jaina studies and the Ashokan inscriptions. His publications include translations of the major verse texts of the Pali canon: Elders’ Verses I (Theragāthā), 1969; Elders’ Verses II (Therīgāthā), 1971; The Group of Discourses (Suttanipāta), 1992, 2nd ed. 2001; The Word of the Doctrine (Dhammapada), 1997; each of these translations includes meticulous philological annotations.

He also published two significant monographs, Pāli Literature (1983) and A Philological Approach to Buddhism (1997; 2nd edition 2006), and leaves behind eight volumes of his Collected Papers (1990–2007). From 1981 to 1990 he was editor of A Critical Pāli Dictionary, overseeing the publication of seven fascicles (11–17) of vol. II.


"As well as being a Fellow of the British Academy and a Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, he was the longest serving member of the Council of the Pali Text Society (1959–2010) and also served as its President (1981–1994).


"It is safe to say that all those who work on ancient texts in middle Indian languages will remain deeply indebted to his work for a long time to come."

We're pleased to announce three new review articles for this year's volume of the Western Buddhist Review.


Agi Erdos has reviewed Emily Sigalow's American JewBu, an analysis of a key but under-theorised feature of the Western Buddhist world: the preponderance of Jewish people in Buddhist Groups.


Ālokadhāra takes a close look at the prolific Anālayo's latest addition to the mindfulness literature, Introducing Mindfulness.


And Vidyādevī walks us through the tracks and detours explored in Christor Ives' new book, Zen on the Trail.


Read these reviews in the current issue of the Western Buddhist Review.

Back in January, Adhisthāna hosted a symposium on "Buddhist Modernism", exploring how Buddhism has been reshaped by its encounter with Western modernity.


The editors of the WBR each gave talks at the symposium on the subject of Buddhist Modernism, and Sanghadhara interviewed us for a podcast (available here) for The Buddhist Centre Online.


The talks from the symposium are now available to download from Free Buddhist Audio:


Exploring Buddhist Modernism: An Introduction

Dhivan


Romantic Buddhism

Silavādin


Sangharakshita as Buddhist Modernist: The Case of the Five Niyamas

Dhivan


Experience and Non-Experience, Revisited

Matt Drage

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