Michael Sweet was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945. He was educated in New York City public schools, graduating from Stuyvesant High School in 1963, and from the City College of New York in 1969 with a B.A. in Asian Studies. From 1966 to1969 he studied Tibetan Buddhism with Geshe [Nagwang] Wangyal at LabsumShedrub Ling, in Freewood Acres New Jersey. He received a masters degree in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1973), did research for his dissertation (on the ninth chapter of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara) in Sri Lanka (under a Fulbright scholarship), India, and Nepal (1973-75), and received his Ph.D. (under the direction of Prof. Geshe Lhundub Sopa) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977.
During 1977-78 he taught and translated for the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, and in 1979 received a masters degree in clinical social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
From 1980-2004 Dr. Sweet was employed as a psychotherapist for the Veterans Administration, as a psychologist in private practice (Ph.D. in psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993), and as a part-time lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999-2003). Since 1990 he has done research as an independent scholar in the fields of history of sexuality and Buddhist Studies (see publications below), and since 2001 has been working on a complete English translation of Ippolito Desideri’s Notizie Istoriche del Tibet, in collaboration with Leonard Zwilling, as well as related research concerning the Italian Catholic mission to Tibet.
Selected Publications and Presentations:
(2009) “The Devil’s Stratagem or a Human Fraud? Ippolito Desideri on theReincarnate Succession of the Dalai Lama.” Buddhist-Christian Studies, 29: 129-138.
(2009) Co-translator of chapters on Chinese non-Buddhist Religions and Chinese Buddhism, in Tuken Chöky Nyima, The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems: A Tibetan Study of Asian Religious Thought, Geshe Lhundub Sopa (trans.), Roger R. Jackson (ed.) (Boston: Wisdom Publications).
(To appear) Translation and study of “A Detailed Account of Tibet and Memoirs of My Travels and the Tibetan Mission” by Ippolito Desideri, S.J. To be published by Wisdom Publications, Boston, anticipated publication 2010.
(To appear) “View of Christianity in the Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems” be published in Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts, Gregory A. Barker (ed.), Oxford University Press.
(To appear) “An Unpublished Letter in Portuguese by Fr. Ippolito Desideri, S.J.” scheduled for first issue of the Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu (AHSI), 2010.
(2006) “Desperately Seeking Capuchins: Manoel Freyre’s Report on the Tibets and their Routes (Tibetorum ac eorum Relatio Viarum) and the Desideri Mission to Tibet.”Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS), no. 2 (August):1-33. www.thdl.org?id=T2722
(2006): “Jesus the World-Protector: Eighteenth Century Tibetan Buddhist Historians View Christianity”, Buddhist-Christian Studies, no. 26: 171-176.
(2004) Co-translator (with L. Jamspel et al.) of the Māhayānasūtrālṃkaraof Asaṇga, in The Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature, ed. Robert A. Thurman (New York: American Institute for Buddhist Studies).
(2002) “Eunuchs, Lesbians, and Other Mythical Beasts: Queering and Dequeering the Kama Sutra, in Queering India: Same Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society, ed. by Ruth Vanita (New York: Routledge): 77-84.
(2001) Sopa G. L., Sweet, M. and Zwilling L., Peacock in the Poison Grove: Two Buddhist Mind Training Texts (Boston: Wisdom Publications).
(2000) Zwilling L. and Sweet M. J., “The Evolution of Third-sex Constructs in Ancient India: A Study in Ambiguity”, in Invented Identities: The Interplay of Gender, Religion and Politics in India, ed. Julia Leslie and Mary McGee (Delhi: Oxford U. P.): 99-132.
(1995) “Mental Purification (bLo sbyong): A Native Tibetan Genre of Religious Literature”, in Tibetan Literature: Genre Studies, ed. Roger R. Jackson and José I. Cabezón (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Press): 244-260.
(1990) Sweet M. J., and Johnson C.G., “Enhancing Empathy: The Interpersonal Implications of a Buddhist Meditation Technique”, Psychotherapy, 27 (1): 19-29.
[Drawn up in July 2009]