Professional and Biographical Information

Teaching Interests
I am interested in the intellectual, religious, and literary history of ancient India and I teach courses in these areas, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism. My current work is on emotions in classical Indian thought. I have also worked a lot on the 5th century Theravada thinker Buddhaghosa. I have taught at Amherst since 2003.

Harvard University -- Ph.D. in Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, 1999
Reed College -- B.A. in Interdisciplinary Philosophy and Religion, 1991


What They Are Reading

We asked Associate Professor of Religion Maria Heim what she read over the summer. Here’s what she told us:

My summer reading list was shorter than I would have liked—isn’t it always?—and often I am grateful just to grab enough time to glance over the newspaper, but I did manage to get in a few fun things.

Circus Act

Submitted by Marjan Hajibandeh

Marjan Hajibandeh ‘09E continues her conversations with newly tenured faculty. Next in line is Maria Heim.

Knowing of Maria Heim’s long list of achievements, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn about her experiences in a three-ring circus. While she spent time as an acrobat, a flame thrower and a lion tamer, she was most famous for her juggling skills. People would gather from all over the country to witness her throw large pieces of furniture in the air, all while balancing a Bengal tiger on her nose.

Maria Heim To Give Lazerowitz Lecture at Amherst College April 14

March 17, 2005Director of Media Relations 413/542-8417 AMHERST, Mass.—Maria Heim, assistant professor of religion at Amherst College, will give the annual Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture, on Buddhist Ideals of Happiness on Thursday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the Alumni House at Amherst College. The talk is free and open to the public, as is a reception immediately following.