Jake Nagasawa

Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Studies, Translation Theory


Jake’s research focuses on Tantric Buddhism in ancient and medieval Tibet. He is particularly interested in the tantras and the oral tradition (bka’ ma) of the Nyingma School, tantric doxography, issues of authenticity and canonicity, and Tibetan epistles.  His master’s thesis is a translation of an epistle from the Tibetan Buddhist canon ascribed to Buddhaguhya, an eighth-century Indian Buddhist master. His dissertation examines a doxographical treatise also attributed to Buddhaguhya entitled An Orderly Arrangement of the Paths (Lam rnam par bkod pa). He is currently working on a study of An Ornamental Flower for the Proof of the Guhyagarbha (Gsang snying sgrub pa rgyan gyi me tog), a short defense of the controversial Guhyagarbha Tantra attributed to the prolific thirteenth-century Kadam (Bka’ gdams) intellectual, Chomden Rikpé Reldri (Bcom ldan rig pa’i ral gri)Jake is co-chair of the American Academy of Religion Western Region’s Buddhist Studies unit.

Academic History:

C.Phil., Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2018.

M.A., Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2017.

Thesis: “Buddhaguhya and his Epistle to the Ruler, his Subjects, and the Clergy of Tibet (Rje ’bangs dang bod btsun rnams la spring yig): A Biography of the Saint, a Tibetan Critical Edition of the Epistle, and its English Translation.”

B.A., Theology & Religious Studies and Asian Studies, University of San Francisco, 2011.