Epiphanies, Rabbis, Theses, and Winter Quarter 2015.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  It doesn’t hurt that this has probably been my most active quarter at Santa Clara University.  What have I been up to?

  1. I got my first peer-reviewed article published.bcs29
    In January I was told that my work on Buddhist-Christian dual belonging was accepted for publication in Buddhist-Christian Studies.  As an undergraduate this is quite exciting.  It won’t be released until this fall, but you can read the paper online.
  2. I gave two talks on campus.
    The first was a talk to my department on my dual belonging research.  The talk went well and the Q&A afterward was even better — a conversation that went in many interesting directions, as post-talk discussions should.  I later presented a five-minute version of my talk to parents and students at my university’s Family Weekend to about 50 people.
  3. I finally finished my thesis for Classics.
    I started work on what would become “When Herakles Went to India: The Transformation of a Greco-Roman Hero-God in Buddhist Art” a year ago.

    Fragmentary Relief: Vajrapani, Prince, and Monks, 2nd-3rd century CE, Gandhara.  Phylite, 53.9 x 25 x 6 cm.  British Museum, London.  Published: Ancient India and Iran Trust, The Crossroads of Asia: Transformation in Image and Symbol (Cambridge: Ancient India and Iran Trust, 1992), fig. 134.

    Fragmentary Relief: Vajrapani, Prince, and Monks, 2nd-3rd century CE, Gandhara. Notice the guy in the front with the lion skin and the vajra?  That’s what Herakles became.

    I’m glad to have it done, but after 70 pages of writing, I was left with the feeling that there was a lot more to cover.  The best part was my advisor’s handshake the day I handed him the print copy.  After spending an hour on the phone with one of the few scholars in the country who studies this school of Buddhist art, I am inspired to continue this topic.  We often think that encounter between “East” and “West” only began in the modern era, but this research has persuaded me that it goes back way further than that. Graduate school awaits…

  4. I got engaged.
    …To Michelle, my Spanish-speaking, Sephardic Jew-studying now-fiancé.
  5. I met a major worldwide religious leader.
    papa-levara-rabino-e-muculmano-em-viagem-a-terra-santa-Abraham Skorka, “the Pope’s rabbi,” came to campus and spoke on Interfaith Leadership.  I was part of a group of students who had lunch with him.  I sat right next to him — very exciting.  And my fiancé gave two talks on campus on Jewish-Catholic relations in Argentina to contextualize his presence.


I think I can justify feeling tired at the end of this quarter.

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