< Return to Adherents.com's Guide to Movies
< Return to Famous Buddhists
The Religious Affiliation of Actress
Uma Thurman is one of 14 celebrity Buddhists assessed in Armstrong's article "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers." Uma Thurman was ranked 10th highest on the list in terms of the proportion of web hits (google.com: 0.8%) and current news article hits (news.google.com: 0.3%) mentioning her which also contain either the word "Buddhism" or "Buddhist." From: Tom Armstrong, "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers", 8 March 2005 in Zen Unbound Emagazine (http://www.zenunbound.com/celebbuds.html; viewed 18 August 2005):
Uma Thurman certainly is Buddhist. (She's Robert Thurman's daughter, for crying out loud.) But her celebrity seems very apart from her Buddhism activities. She has taken many parts in very bloody films; she's no softy, that's for sure.
Wikipedia definition for Robert Thurman (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Thurman; viewed 18 August 2005): Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman (born 1941) is Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and is the co-founder and president of Tibet House New York. At the age of 24, he became the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk. He is the father of actress Uma Thurman.
Frank Rose, "Reality Check: Uma Thurman on the surreal world of Dick, karmic paybacks, and working with mind-bending auteurs" in Wired Magazine, Issue 11.12, December 2003 (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/philip_pr.html; viewed 22 August 2005):
"It's all very Buddhist," says Uma Thurman, sitting in a dressing room as a makeup artist dabs at her face.
She means Philip K. Dick, of course. Her father, Columbia University professor Robert Thurman, is a leading Buddhist scholar and a good friend of the Dalai Lama, so she's no stranger to discussions of memory and reality. "Reality is an illusion - that's the principle of ancient Buddhist thought," she continues. "And the basic idea of being reborn is that you erase the memory. Everybody is interconnected, and you're working out your karma with people - so you get erased, but all work left undone has to be completed."
So Thurman is a fan [of Philip K. Dick]. Blade Runner was one of her favorite movies growing up - the plight of the replicants was so affecting it made her cry - and after seeing it she read Dick's novel. "There's something very earthly in his imaginings," she says. "You don't have to set them on Mars - they're projections from here on Earth. There's class struggle, there's government deceit. And these nightmarish fantasies about corporations owning the world - I mean, obviously there's a reason people relate to that."
From: "Religious Affiliations of Celebrities" page in "Celebrity Religion" section of "Religion Facts" website (http://www.religionfacts.com/celebrities/religions_of_celebrities.htm; viewed 26 April 2007):
Below is an index of the religious affiliations or belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Celebrity: Uma Thurman
Religion/Belief: Buddhism / eclectic
Quotes, More Information, Sources:
Uma's father, Robert Thurman, is the foremost Buddhist scholar in America. "When asked if I consider myself Buddhist, the answer is, Not really. But it's more my religion than any other because I was brought up with it in an intellectual and spiritual environment. I don't practice or preach it, however. But Buddhism has had a major effect on who I am and how I think about the world. What I have learned is that I like all religions, but only parts of them." - Celebrity Atheist List [link to: http://www.celebatheists.com/index.php?title=Uma_Thurman]
Webpage created 25 July 2005. Last modified 26 April 2007.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.