July 23, 2020

Congratulations to Joshua Ereshefsky

Joshua Ereshefsky successfully defended his thesis "Tracing Buddhist Responses to the Crisis of Cosmography" on July 16, 2020

We are pleased to congratulate Joshua Ereshefsky on his successful MA thesis defense! His thesis “Tracing Buddhist Responses to the Crisis of Cosmography” was approved by supervisor Dr. Wendi Adamek and committee members Dr. Chris Framarin and Dr. John Vanderspoel.

Joshua’s thesis provides an overview of a fascinating area of Buddhist philosophy and doctrine, namely a map of the cosmos that on a certain level intersects with a map of states of consciousness. Joshua’s thesis begins with the Buddhist scholar Vasubandhu’s 4th century elaboration of Buddhist cosmography, followed by chapters devoted to selected 18th-20th century responses by Buddhists to the introduction of Western scientific claims. Joshua organized these responses according to a three-part scheme he devised: Acceptors, Rejectors, and “Upayers.” The latter category is based on an emic Buddhist strategy of adaptation of other views. Joshua provides extensive cultural and historical contextualization for each response. 

Joshua’s research was funded in part by the Vedanta Society Graduate Scholarship, and the Leslie Kawamura Graduate Scholarship in Buddhist Studies. He has been accepted to the PhD program at McMaster University, and plans to begin his studies in the fall.

We wish you all the best!

Joshua Ereshefsky