ROBINSON, Richard H. Carstairs, Alberta 21.6.1926 — Madison 6.8.1970. Canadian Buddhist Scholar in the U.S.A. Professor in Madison. School in Carstairs, learnt Chinese from a Chinese friend. In 1944-47 studies of economics, French and German at University of Alberta (B.A. 1947), then Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan and Sanskrit at S.O.A.S. (B.A. 1952 in Chinese). Ph.D. 1959. London. A short while Lecturer in Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto. From 1960 at Department of Indian Studies, University of Wisconsin in Madison: from 1960 Assistant Professor, 1961 Associate Professor, 1964-70 Professor and Head of Department. In 1962 studied nearly a year Vedānta in Varanasi, in 1966 visited Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Japan. In Madison he started the first Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies in North America. Died in an accident. Married 1952, one son, one daughter.
RHR was an exceptionally many-sided scholar, who had mastered all important languages of Buddhism from India to Japan. He was as much interested in doctrine and philosophy as in history and art and studied both classical and living traditions. Early death stopped many plans.
Publications: Chinese Buddhist Verse. 1954.
– Early Madhyamika in India and China. 358 p. Wisconsin 1967.
–: The Buddhist Religion: a Historical Introduction. 138 p. Belmont, Calif. 1969, 3rd rev. ed. by W. L. Johnson. 302 p. Ibid. 1982.
– 18 articles and 15 reviews in the Middle Way, Phil. E&W, JAsSt, etc., e.g. “The Sūtra spoken by Vimalakīrti”, The Golden Lotus 1953-55 (extracts in tr.); “Some Logical Aspects of Nāgārjuna’s System”, Phil. E&W 1957, 291-308; “Mysticism and Logic in Sen-Chao’s Thought”, Phil. E&W 18, 1958-59, 99-120; “The Classical Indian Axiomatic”, Phil. E&W 17, 1967, 139-154.
Sources: A. E. Link & L. Hurvitz, JAOS 91, 1971, 580-582, with bibliography.