Professional and Biographical Information


Harvard University -- Ph.D. in Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, 1999

Reed College -- B.A. in Interdisciplinary Philosophy and Religion, 1991


Teaching Interests

South Asian Buddhist history; Religions of South Asia; Buddhist Ethics; Buddhist Literature; Emotions; Methods and Theories of the Study of Religion


Selected Publications

The Forerunner of All Things:  Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency (Oxford University Press, 2014).


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.

Three Amherst College Faculty Members Are 2005 Guggenheim Fellows

April 25, 2005Director of Media Relations413/542-8417