Donald S. Lopez, Jr.


On his book The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography

Cover Interview of May 10, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“What happens when religious texts move across time and across cultures.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“I wanted to try to understand The Tibetan Book of the Dead not so much as an odd appropriation of a Tibetan text, which it certainly is, but rather as an important work in the history of American spiritualism.”

On the second:

“I am sometimes saddened to see that people who are interested in Buddhism think that they must renounce their historical consciousness in order to appreciate Buddhist texts.”