Silk (1960) studied East Asian Studies at the
Oberlin College in Ohio and subsequently Buddhist Studies at the
University of Michigan. At the latter university he obtained his PhD in
1994 with the thesis: The Origins and Early History of the Mahāratnakūţa
Tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, With a Study of the Ratnarāśisūtra and
During his studies, Silk spent several years in Japan supported by various grants. After his PhD, Silk became Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the Grinnell College in Iowa and in 1995 at the Department of Comparative Religion of the Western Michigan University. Since 2002 he occupied the same position at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). There, Silk has been director of the South & Southeast Asian Languages Program. Silk received several awards during and after his studies, and occupied a fellowship six times, the last one at Yale University.