John Powers (academic)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Powers (born 1957) is American born Professor of Asian Studies and Buddhism. Much of his teaching career was at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Powers studied at College of the Holy Cross Massachusetts, taking a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion there in 1979. He went on to earn a Master of Arts in Indian philosophy at McMaster University in Ontario then a Doctorate of Religious history from the University of Virginia. From 1995 to 2016, Powers taught at the Australian National University, where he was made professor in 2008. Powers, like several others, left the university after a controversial restructuring of the department.[citation needed]

A practicing Buddhist, he has special expertise in Buddhism in Tibet. He was invited by the Dalai Lama's Australian office, as the leading expert in the country, to Tenzin Gyatsho's 70th birthday celebration .[1] As well as publishing work on Buddhist spirituality and meditation techniques, he has written extensive translations of Tibetan works, and written on the history and culture of Tibet , India, and China.

Powers, who supports Tibetan autonomy, has compared the Chinese treatment of the Tibetan people to the fate of the Aborigines during the colonization of Australia.[2]


  • The Yogācāra school of Buddhism: a bibliography. American Theological Library Association, Vol. 27, 1991
  • Hermeneutics and tradition in the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra. Indian thought and culture, Vol. 5, BRILL, 1993
  • Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Snow Lion Publications, 1995
  • Wisdom of Buddha: the Saṁdhinirmocana Sūtra. Tibetan translation series, Vol. 16, (Translato), Dharma Publications, 1995
  • Scriptures of world religions. McGraw Hill, 1998 (with James Fieser)
  • Jñānagarbha's Commentary on just the Maitreya chapter from the Saṃdhinirmocana-Sūtra: study, translation and Tibetan text. Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 1998
  • A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Oneworld Publication, 2000
  • Religion und Kultur Tibets. Das geistige Erbe eines buddhistischen Landes. O.W. Barth, 2002
  • History as propaganda: Tibetan exiles versus the People's Republic of China. Oxford University Press US, 2004
  • A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Snow Lion Publications, 2008[3]
  • A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism. Harvard University Press, 2009


  1. ^ Press release from the ANU
  2. ^ A Place of their own The Age, Mar 18, 2008 (from
  3. ^ Tibet - Liberation or Invasion? Wordminder Press

External links[edit]