Alexander William Macdonald, (born: 8 October 1923) – British by birth and French by decree – is a Buddhist scholar and cultural anthropologist of wide renown. He is an equally well-known specialist of the ethno-history of the Himalayas, with interests concentrated in the interaction of oral and written traditions. Veritably an indefatigable researcher – who, for about 40 years, has been with the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris, and is now an honorary Directeur de Recherche, he has done considerable spells of field-work in Nepal, Sikkim and Ladakh: not only in high altitude areas, but in the valleys and plains as well.
Besides his stints at the Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu: 1973-75, the Chinese University, Hong Kong: 1979-80, and California University, Berkeley: 1984, among other teaching positions/assignments, Professor Macdonald has had a four-year term: 1991-95, as General Secretary of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. Published extensively, he is also in-charge of a publication series of the Laboratoire d’ Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative, at the University of Paris X, Nanterre.
International Association of Buddhist Studies was elected general Secretary of the Association for the period 1991-1994.
1. Essays on the Ethnology of Nepal and South Asia, Vol. 1, Kathmandu, Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 1975, Vol. II kathmandu Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 1987.
2. The Writing of Buddhist History in the Sherpa area of Nepal in A.K. Narain (ed.) History of Buddhism, New Delhi, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1979.
3. The Coming of Buddhism to the Sherpa area of Nepal in Acta Orientalia Hungarica, Vol. XXXIV, Bandopost 1980.
4. Religion in Tibet at the time of Srongrtsan sgompo, Myth as History in L. Ligeti (ed.) Tibetan and Buddhist Studies commentoring the 200th Annivarsary of the birth of Alexander, Vol. II, 1984.
5. Remarks on the Manipulation of power and authority in the high Himalayas in The Tibet Journal, Vol. XII, 1, Dharamshala, 1987.
6. English translator of P. Mus. Borobudur, Sketch of History of Buddhism (Preface) New Delhi, Sterling Publishers, 1997.
7. Editor of Volume, Mandala and Landscape, New Delhi, D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd. 1997.