Gayley, H.

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Holly Gayley

Holly Gayley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research focuses on the revitalization of Buddhism in Tibetan areas of the PRC in the post-Maoist period. Dr. Gayley became interested in the academic study of Buddhism through her travels among Tibetan communities in India, Nepal, and China. She completed her Masters in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University in 2000 and Ph.D. at Harvard University in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies in 2009. Dr. Gayley's first book titled Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet came out in November 2016 with Columbia University Press. The book charts the lives and love letters of a contemporary Buddhist tantric couple, Khandro Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Jigme Phuntsok, who played a significant role in revitalizing Buddhism in eastern Tibet since the 1980s. Examining Buddhist conceptions of gender, agency and healing, this book recovers Tibetan voices in representing their own modern history under Chinese rule and contributes to burgeoning scholarly literature on Buddhist women, minorities in China, and studies of collective trauma.

Dr. Gayley's second project explores the emergence of Buddhist modernism on the Tibetan plateau and a new ethical reform movement spawned by cleric-scholars at Larung Buddhist Academy in Serta. Her recent publications on the topic include "Controversy over Buddhist Ethical Reform: A Secular Critique of Clerical Authority in the Tibetan Blogosphere" (Himalaya Journal, 2016), "Non-Violence as a Shifting Signifier on the Tibetan Plateau" (Contemporary Buddhism, 2016 with Padma 'tsho), "Reimagining Buddhist Ethics on the Tibetan Plateau (Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 2013), and "The Ethics of Cultural Survival: A Buddhist Vision of Progress in Mkhan po 'Jigs phun's Advice to Tibetans of the 21st Century" in Mapping the Modern in Tibet (International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, 2011). (Source Accessed July 21, 2020)

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