The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award, named for its benefactors, Navin and Pratima Doshi, is given annually to honor an individual or organization dedicated to fostering understanding between cultures, peoples and disciplines. The award recipient is selected by a committee in the Center for Religion and Spirituality.

The award ceremony is a celebration of culture and diversity, often times featuring numerous speakers and artistic performances. Navin Doshi, while presenting the Bridgebuilder Award to Thich Nhat Hanh in 2008, remarked: “Here we are at a Christian university giving an award to a Buddhist monk from a Hindu family. Isn’t it wonderful that LMU honors all human traditions?” The award ceremony is jointly sponsored by Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Theological Studies, and the Navin and Pratima Doshi Professorship of Indic and Comparative Theology, which is currently held by Professor Christopher Key Chapple, PhD.


2015 Award

“Celebrating Dr. Pal's Contribution to the Study of the Arts of India”

Pratapaditya Pal, 2015 Doshi Bridgebuilder Award recipientThe 2015 recipient of the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award at Loyola Marymount University is Pratapaditya Pal.

To register for this year's event, click here.

Dr. Pratapaditya Pal’s extraordinary work as a scholar of South, Southeast Asian and Himalayan art has constructed bridges between India and the world through visual culture.  Born in Bangladesh, Pal went on to study in Calcutta and Cambridge before beginning to curate the Indian art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1970, he moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where, according to the Los Angeles Times, he built the museum’s collection from “a handful of items to about 4,000 pieces, giving LACMA one of the nation's preeminent holdings of Indian and Southeast Asian art.”  Since retiring from LACMA in 1995, he has been an associate curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Over the past half century he has originated and organized internationally acclaimed exhibitions on four continents: North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Pal is a prolific author in two languages - his native Bengali and English - and has authored fiction and nonfiction, academic and popular books and articles, and has almost 70 volumes to his credit. He was the general editor of Marg magazine for 17 years, has taught at Harvard University, within the U.C. system, USC and University of Indiana, Bloomington. His many honors include a Getty Scholarship (1995-96) and the fourth-highest civil award (Padmashri) of the government of India (1993). In 2014, a chair in Curating and Museology in Asian Art was established in his name at the School of Oriental and African Studies of London University.

Program for Sept. 20

3:30 p.m. Gathering and Welcome

4 p.m. Reflections on the work of Dr. Pal

     Featuring Guests:
           Ian Alsop, Peaceful Wind Gallery, Santa Fe:    From 1970 to 1988, lived in Kathmandu Nepal, where he eventually learned the Newari language and became a student of Nepalese cultural history. From 1980 he was involved in a project to produce a classical Newari dictionary. He has written numerous articles on Nepalese and Tibetan art and culture in Orientations, Arts of Asia, and Artibus Asiae, and was a contributor to the recently completed MacMillan Dictionary of Art and the volume The Art of Tibet: Towards a Definition of Style. He is also publisher and editor of the online Journal,, to which Dr. Pal has contributed several important articles.

Since 1989, he has been living with his wife Lois and two children in Santa Fe New Mexico, with frequent journeys to Nepal and Tibet. He and his wife Lois also manage Peaceful Wind, a gallery of Asian fine art in Santa Fe.


           Debashish Banerji, University of Philosophical Research:  Debashish Banerji is professor of Indian Studies and dean of academic affairs at the University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles. He is also adjunct faculty in Art History at Pasadena City College and Research Fellow in Transformative Inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Los Angeles. He has curated a number of exhibitions on Indian and Japanese Art and has research interests in art history, philosophy, culture studies, postcolonialism and posthumanism. He is the author of The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore (Sage 2010), Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (DKPW 2012) and a number of edited volumes, the latest being Rabindranath Tagore in the 21st Century: Theoretical Renewals (Springer 2014).


           Gerald Larson, Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara; Indiana University:  Gerald James Larson is Rabindranath Tagore Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, Bloomington, and Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara, USA.   Dr. Larson is the author or editor of some twelve books and over 150 scholarly articles on comparative philosophy, history of religions, and Hindu and Buddhist studies in South and Southeast Asia (and see his website:   His books include India’s Agony Over Religion (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1997), Religion and Personal Law in Secular India  (Indiana University Press, 2002), and Volume XII of the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, entitled Yoga: India’s Philosophy of Meditation. (Delhi, 2011). A Festschrift was published in his honour in 2005, Theory and Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, edited by K.A. Jacobsen (Leiden: Brill, 2005).  Currently Dr. Larson is Research Professor, Program in Religious Studies, University of California, Irvine.    


           Alka Patel, University of California, Irvine:  Alka Patel's research has focused on South Asia and its connections with Iran and Central Asia including overland and Indian Ocean maritime networks. Her works include Building Communities in Gujarat: Architecture and Society during the Twelfth-Fourteenth Centuries (Brill 2004), Communities and Commodities: Western India and the Indian Ocean (guest editor, special issue of Ars Orientalis [2004/2007]), and her current book project on the Ghurids of Afghanistan and northern India (ca. 1150-1215). Her interests have expanded to include mercantile mobility, networks and architectural patronage in 18th-19th-century South Asia, as evidenced in Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition (co-ed. K. Leonard, Brill 2012) and her collaborative project with Karen Leonard on the merchant communities of Hyderabad, India.


5:30 p.m. Keynote address and presentation of award honorning Pratapaditya Pal

6 p.m. Reception

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award, named for its benefactors, Navin and Pratima Doshi, is given annually to honor an individual or organization dedicated to fostering understanding between cultures, peoples and disciplines.

Past Doshi Bridgebuilder Award recipients are: Rupert Sheldrake, Dr. Karan Singh, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Huston Smith, Greg Mortenson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Zubin Mehta and Deepak Chopra.