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Peter Skilling (Numata Visiting Professor, Fall 2005)
Peter Skilling is a Fellow of the Lumbini International Research Institute (Lumbini, Nepal) and a Special Lecturer at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand). He is founder of the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation (Bangkok), a project dedicated to the preservation, study and publication of the Buddhist literature of Southeast Asia. He is a founding member of the International Centre for Buddhist Studies (Bangkok). Peter Skilling has lived in Thailand for over thirty years, and has travelled extensively in Asia. His interests include the early history of religion in Southeast Asia as known through inscriptions and archaeological remains; the history of Indian Buddhism and the development of Mahayana sutras; and the Pali and vernacular literature of pre-modern Siam, including jataka and sermon genres. He has also written about the history of the Buddhist order of nuns in India and Siam and the development of the Tibetan canonical collections (Kanjur). His publications include Mahasutras, a critical edition and study of ten Sarvastivadin texts preserved in Tibetan translation in the Kanjur compared with their Pali counterparts (Vols. I and II, Oxford: The Pali Text Society, 1994, 1997; Vol. III, translations, forthcoming). Skilling is reported to be overly fond of durian. He lives in Nandapuri on the outskirts of Bangkok with a turtle rescued from the streets after a flood some years ago.