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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 5.1 (2022): 246–288;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Text and Image & Buddhist Biography)

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Borges, Buddha’s Life Story, and the Transmission of Buddhism to Latin America

University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: This paper discusses the way in which one of the greatest Latin American literary figures, Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986), represented the Buddha, and the choices that he made vis-à-vis the contemporary intellectual discussions on the Buddha’s story and Buddhism in the 1970’s, a period in which Buddhism was generally unknown to most Latin Americans. This study is part of a larger research that seeks to understand how Borges’s seminal artistic and intellectual relevance intersected with the transmission and development of Buddhism, and its study in Latin America.

Keywords: Buddha’s life story, J. L. Borges, Buddhist modernism, Buddhism in Latin America


About the Author: Margarita Delgado Creamer, Ph.D., currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her experience studying and teaching in England, Peru, the United States, China, and the Philippines has led her to develop a penchant for understanding cultural interaction in its diverse expressions. With an academic background in Eastern and Western philosophy, she later on specialized on Asian religions with a focus on early Chinese Buddhism and its interaction with Daoism. Her latest research focuses on the relationship of spirituality, ethics and health in Buddhism, and the transmission of Buddhism to Latin-America.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.