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M. Alyson Prude

Dr. M. Alyson Prude

Associate Professor, Religious Studies

3305B Newton

Ph.D. in Religious Studies (South Asian Religions and Buddhist Studies), University of California, Santa Barbara, 2011

I study contemporary Himalayan Buddhism with a focus on the relationships between normative Buddhist and indigenous traditions. My book project is an account of the delog (literally “returned from death”) tradition as practiced in Nepal and eastern Tibet. I enjoy incorporating an ethnographic approach into my courses in the religions and cultures of South and East Asia.

Recent Courses

  • Intro to Religious Studies
  • Intro to Buddhism
  • Intro to Asian Religions
  • Asian Religious Philosophy
  • Religion, Sex, and Gender
  • Seminar in Religious Studies

Selected Publications

“A Reexamination of Marginal Religious Specialists: Himalayan Messengers from the Dead.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 88, no. 3 (Sept. 2020): 779-804.
 “Tibetan Buddhist Perspectives on Death and Dying.” In Death and Dying: An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion, eds. Tim Knepper, Lucy Bregman, and Mary Gottschalk. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2019, 124-142.
“Women Returning from Death: The Gendered Nature of the Delog Role.” Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, no. 36 (Oct. 2016): 5-28.
“Buddhism in Contemporary Bhutan.” (With Samdrup Rigyal.) In The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism, ed. Michael Jerryson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, 61-76.
Cover-Eminent-Buddhist-Women-edited“Kunzang Drolkar: A Delog in Eastern Tibet.” Eminent Buddhist Women. Ed. Karma Lekshe Tsomo. Albany: SUNY Press, 2014. (pp. 169-184).
Cover-Asian-Network-Exchange-edited“A Classroom of Bunnies, Blimps, and Werewolves: Teaching Asian Religions Online in Second Life.” ASIANetwork Exchange 20.2 (Spring 2013): 1-12.

Last updated: 12/19/2023