Dr. Ronald M. Davidson
Professor of Religious Studies
o: Donnarumma Hall Rm 251
Dr. Ronald Davidson has taught at Fairfield University since 1990, after having previously taught at Santa Clara University and at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (Graduate Theological Union) in California. He has twice been Director of Asian Studies, was Chair of Religious Studies and was the Inaugural Director of the Humanities Institute, College of Arts and Sciences.
He was trained in Sanskrit and Chinese Buddhist studies at the University of California Berkeley under Drs. Padmanabh Jaini, Lewis Lancaster, and Michel Strickmann, but also studied with Tibetans for seventeen years before and during his graduate career, working off and on for eleven years with Ngor Thartse Khenpo (Hiroshi Sonami).
His primary area of expertise is the history of tantric Buddhism in India and Tibet, especially in the relationship of religious history to social history during the medieval period, from 500-1200 CE. More recently, he has worked on the development of Mahayana rituals during the Gupta-Vakataka period (320-550 CE) He belongs to the International Associations, respectively, for Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies, and other learned societies. He has presented scholarly papers at conferences and seminars in Europe, India, Nepal, and Japan, as well as around the United States. He is also active in the Tantric Studies Group at the American Academy of Religion.
His work sometimes leads him to the Himalayas, India, and Nepal, or to the North Indian plains, to consult with friends and colleagues. There he works in archives and libraries or visits archaeological sites associated with medieval Buddhism. He has a passion for mountains and Ducati motorcycles.