Male. Education: Colgate University, B.A.; Union Theological Seminary, M.Div.; Columbia University, Ph.D.
Office—University of Vermont, Department of Religion, 481 Main Street, Room 202, Burlington, VT 05405. E-mail—[email protected].
University of Vermont, Burlington, associate professor of religion, 1989—; University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, fulbright senior scholar, 1997-98.
(Editor, with David Germano) Embodying the Dharma: Buddhist Relic Veneration in Asia, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2004.
General editor of Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001. Contributor to Unseen Presence: The Buddha and Sanchi, edited by Vidya Dehejia, Marg Publications, 1996, and to periodicals, including Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Numen.
Kevin Trainor, an associate professor of religion at the University of Vermont, is a specialist in the area of South Asian religious traditions. His research concentrates on the Theravada Buddhist traditions, especially Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Trainor's book Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism: Rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravada Tradition, is a revision of his Ph.D. dissertation at Columbia University. In it Trainor explains the reasons why many Westerners focus on Buddhist texts and not on Buddhist relics. Trainor also describes in detail the relics, most importantly the ashes of Buddha, and the rituals historically practiced by Buddhists in the East. Journal of the American Oriental Society contributor Nirmala Salgado called Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism "very welcome and long-awaited." Asian Affairs contributor Donald M. Stadtner concluded that "Trainor tackles problems judiciously, weighing textual and archaeological evidence thoughtfully."
In Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide Trainor, who served as general editor, and five contributors provide a detailed looked at the history, people, practices, and beliefs of Buddhism. Included are two hundred photographs and maps. M2 Best Books contributor Kevin Turner claimed that "The book contains all that you would hope to find and much more." A Publisher Weekly contributor observed, "This illustrated guide to Buddhism skillfully embodies brains, brawn and beauty."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Asian Affairs, October, 1998, Donald M. Stadtner, review of Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism: Rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravada Tradition, p. 320.
History of Religions, May, 1999, Jacob N. Kinnard, review of Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism, p. 403.
Journal of the American Oriental Society, October-December, 1999, Nirmala Salgado, review of Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism, p. 722.
Library Journal, January, 2002, James R. Kuhlman, review of Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide, p. 110.
M2 Best Books, January 3, 2002, Kevin Turner, review of Buddhism.
Publishers Weekly, November 12, 2001, review of Buddhism, p. 56.
University of Vermont Web site,http://www.uvm.edu/ (June 9, 2003), "Kevin Trainor."*