Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Princeton University
Jonathan Gold is an associate professor in the Religion Department and director of the Program in South Asian Studies at Princeton University. A scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, he is interested in Buddhist approaches to language, learning, and ethics of personal cultivation, and is developing a Buddhist approach to contemporary problems in religion, politics, and social thought. Gold authored The Dharma’s Gatekeepers: Sakya Pandita on Buddhist Scholarship in Tibet and Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy, along with numerous articles on Buddhist philosophy, including the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries on Vasubandhu and Sakya Pandita. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Readings of Santideva’s Guide to Bodhisattva Practice.
Both Buddha and Jesus asked their followers to do more than just refrain from negative behavior. “The Buddhist tradition says that most of our motivations need to be reexamined,” Gold explains. It’s not enough to be superficially moral and doing good for the sake of appearances — you should be actively thinking about others more than yourself, and, adds Pagels, following the age-old golden rule: do unto others what you would have them do to you.