• J. Wayne Bass

    Wayne Bass finished his PhD in the Asian Languages and Cultures Department in 2013. His dissertation attempts to bring issues of sociological and anthropological import into the modern academic conversation on meditation in Indian Buddhism. His work also involves a shift away from sutra and commentarial literature on meditation to its treatment in vinaya (disciplinary) literature. Amid his studies and teaching, he also remains a diehard Lakers fan!

  • James Benn

    James A. Benn received his PhD from UCLA in 2001 and is now Associate Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at McMaster University. He studies Buddhism and Daoism in medieval China. To date, he has focused on three major areas of research: bodily practice in Chinese Religions; the ways in which people create and transmit new religious practices and doctrines; and the religious dimensions of commodity culture. He has published on self-immolation, spontaneous human combustion, Buddhist apocryphal scriptures, and tea and alcohol in medieval China in journals such as History of Religions, T’oung Pao, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies and Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007) and is currently completing a second book, Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History.

  • Caleb Carter

    Caleb Carter received his MA (2008) and PhD (2014), both in Buddhist Studies, from UCLA, with an earlier BA (2000) in Philosophy from Colorado College. His main focus lies in Japanese religions, particularly a mountain-based school known as Shugendō. His other interests include Esoteric Buddhism, Chinese religions, place studies, pilgrimage, material culture, gender, and intellectual history. Caleb’s current research explores the emergence of ritual, thought, and practice in the mountains of Japan from the fifteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries. Centered on the site of Mt. Togakushi (in present-day Nagano Prefecture, central Japan), his dissertation examines the formation of Shugendō and several other emergent trends at the mountain. He conducted much of this research at Keio University (Tokyo) and Mt. Togakushi under fellowships from the Japan Foundation (2011-2012) and the Fulbright-Hays (2012-2013).

    At present, Caleb is teaching courses on Japanese religion and culture for the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Outside of work, he’s usually hanging out with his kids and occasionally outside rock climbing or attempting to surf.


  • Chiwah Chan

    Chiwah Chan completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies in 1993 with a dissertation on "The Formation of Orthodoxy in Sung Dynasty Buddhism: Chih-li and the T'ien-t'ai School." He has published widely on the Chinese Tiantai tradition. He has served as Librarian for the Chinese Collection at Yale University and as Adjunct Lecturer in Yale's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Prior to that, he spent four years as a cataloger with the international cooperative Chinese Rare Books Project, based in the East Asian Library at Princeton University. He is now the Chinese Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania, where he selects scholarly resources to support the University's Chinese Studies program, organizes and supervises the technical processing of these materials, and provides specialized China-related reference and instructional services for faculty and students.

  • William Chu

    William Chu completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies from UCLA in 2006. He also received his BA from UCLA, with a major in psychology. Combining his interest in these two fields, he is currently researching Buddhist meditation and psychology. He has two books that are near completion: “A Buddha-Shaped Hole: Spiritual Crises in a Doctrinally-Undermined Chinese Buddhism,” and “A Godless Alternative: Buddhist Cure for Belief and Disbelief.” He has also translated the bulk of the Madhyamagama and substantial parts of the Fayuan zhulin for the Numata Center translation of the Chinese Buddhist canon. Dr. Chu is currently teaching at University of the West, where he holds positions as Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies, Chair of Academic Senate, and Ph.D. Adviser. He also is Chair of the Buddhist Renaissance Foundation.

  • Shayne Clarke

    Shayne Clarke’s research interests focus on Indian Buddhist monasticism, with particular reference to Buddhist monastic law codes (vinaya) preserved in Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan, and Chinese. His dissertation (UCLA, 2006), "Family Matters in Indian Buddhist Monasticism," reconsiders the role of the family in monastic Buddhism: relationships between monks and nuns, their families, children, marriages, and celibacy. Dr. Clarke has published on monastic codes and practice in ancient India and Tibet, as well as Tokugawa Japan. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University and working on a number of projects related to the ordination of women (nuns) according to Buddhist monastic law codes and various Sanskrit fragments from the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya. Recent publications include: “When and Where is a Monk No Longer a Monk? On Communion and Communities in Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes.” Indo-Iranian Journal (2009) 52/2-3, 115-141; “Locating Humour in Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes: A Comparative Approach.” Journal of Indian Philosophy (2009) 37/4, 311-330; “Monks Who Have Sex: Pārājika Penance in Indian Buddhist Monasticisms.” Journal of Indian Philosophy (2009) 37/1, 1-43.

  • Robert Decaroli

    Robert Decaroli received his PhD (1999) from UCLA in the Arts of South and Southeast Asia with a minor in Buddhist Studies. He is author of the book, Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2004). Dr. Decaroli is currently Associate Professor at George Mason University in the Department of History and Art History, where he has worked since graduating in 1999. For the last six years he has also served as Director of the Art History program there.

  • Ding-hwa Evelyn Hsieh

    Ding-hwa Hsieh finished her PhD in Buddhist Studies at UCLA in 1993 with a dissertation on "A Study of the Evolution of K'an-hua Ch'an in Sung China: Yuan-Wu K'o-Ch'in (1063-1135) and the Function of Kung-an in Ch'an Pedagogy and Praxis." She received postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley and Harvard, and is now a tenured professor at Truman State University in the Missouri state system.

  • George Keyworth

    George Keyworth received his PhD in 2001 from UCLA with a focus in Chinese Buddhism. He lectured at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from 2001-2003 and was Assistant Professor there from 2003 until 2006. He subsequently left Boulder to conduct research in Japan, and now lectures in Chinese Religions at the University of Saskatchewan. He is currently working on the topic of Spells and Zen Buddhism (in China and Japan), especially the Spell of the White Canopy of the Buddha's Sinciput (Ch. Baisangai foding zhou, Jpn. Byakusangai bucchōju 白傘蓋佛頂呪, Skt. Sitātapatra-buddhôṣṇīṣa-dhāraṇī) from the Chinese Śūraṃgama-sūtra (Shoulengyan jing, T. 945). His book manuscript, Transmitting the Lamp of Learning in Zen Buddhism, is currently under review with Oxford University Press.

  • Seong-Uk Kim

    Seong-Uk Kim received both his BS (1996, Chemistry) and MA (2005, Religious Studies) from Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. He completed a second MA (2007) at University of Georgia in Athens in Buddhism, with special focus on Tsung-mi’s thought. He completed his PhD in 2013.

    His research interests include Sino-Korean Chan/Sŏn traditions and historical interactions between Sino-Korean monks and Confucian literati. He is currently working on his dissertation, which centers on an early nineteenth century Korean debate between the monks Paekp’a and Ch’oui about Sŏn hermeneutical classifications, which revolves around Chan/ Sŏn classifications of Linji’s ‘three mysteries’ and ‘three essentials.’

  • Jongmyung Kim

    Jongmyung Kim received his MA and PhD from UCLA, graduating in 1994 with focuses in both Buddhist studies and Korean studies. He has published extensively in both English and Korean on a range of issues in Korean Buddhism. He has three forthcoming works for 2011: Korean Kings’ Buddhist Views and Statecraft (in Korean), Esoteric Buddhist Tradition in East Asia, and Zen Texts as “Public” Documents. He serves as Editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Korean Historical Studies and Vice President of the Association of East Asian Buddhism and Culture. Before his academic career in Buddhist studies, Dr. Kim was a scientist in Dairy Technology and Microbiology and conducted research on genetic engineering in 1987 for the Cancer Institute in the School of Medicine at Seoul National University. He is now Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Korean Studies at the Academy of Korean Studies.

  • Minku Kim

    Minku Kim earned both his BA (2003) and MA (2005) at Seoul National University, where he first studied Archaeology and Art History and later focused on Buddhist Art. Focusing on the Buddhist material culture of China in the Art History Department at UCLA, he completed his dissertation, “The Genesis of Image Worship: Epigraphic Evidence for Early Buddhist Art in China,” in 2010. He has published articles in both English and Korean. He is currently teaching and working on a book project entitled, “Inscribing Numinous Images,” through an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow grant at Stanford University. Recent publications include: “Min Chi wa Yujŏm-sa Osipsam-bul ǔi sŏngnip 閔漬와 楡岾寺 五十三佛의 成立,” Pulgyo hakpo 佛敎學報 56 (2010): 551-588; and with Sin So-yŏn 申紹然, and Hyŏnjang pŏpsa 玄奘法師 (Sŏul: Minǔmsa 民音社) [Annotated translation of Sally H. Wriggins, The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang (Boulder, Co.: Westview, 2004)].

  • Ryoji Kishino

    KISHINO Ryoji received both his BA (2004) and MA (2006) in Buddhist Studies from Kyoto University in Japan. His research focuses on Buddhist monastic codes (vinaya) preserved in Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan, and Chinese. He is currently preparing an edition and a translation of the Mūlasarvāstivāda-Vinaya Nidāna and Muktaka. Two of his recent publications are: “‘Satsubatabubinimatoroka’ 薩婆多部毘尼摩得勒伽 ha ‘Jyūjyuritsu’十誦律 no chūshakusho ka?” [Is the ‘Jyūjyuritsu’ a commentary of the ‘Satsubatabubinimatoroka’?], Indogaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyū 56/2 (2008), pp. 854–851.; and “Koromo ya hachi no adhi-√ sthā-” [The adhi-√ sthā- of the bowl and robe], Nihon Bukkyō gakkai Nenpō 74 (2009), pp. 181–204.

  • Seunghak Koh

    Seunghak Koh is an HK Research Professor at Dongguk University. His research interests include the Chinese and Korean scholastic tradition, especially that of Huayan Buddhism; lay Buddhist figures such as Li Tongxuan; interaction between Buddhism and Chinese indigenous philosophy such as the Zhou Yi, Daoism, Yin-Yang and Five Phases theory. Seunghak is currently working on his dissertation, “Li Tongxuan's Thought and Place in the Huayan Tradition.” His most recent publications are: “Li Tongxuan’s (635-730) Thought and Place in the Huayan Tradition,”and “Li Tongxuan’s Utilization of Chinese Symbolism in the Explication of the Avataṃsaka–sūtra,” Asian Philosophy 20(2), 2010; and “Taesŭng kisillon esŏ kkaedarŭm kwa hunsŭp ŭi kwan’gye” (The Relation between Enlightenment and ‘Vāsanā’ [Permeation] in the Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna), Pulgyohak yŏn’gu 4, 2002.

  • Sumi Lee
    PhD Candidate

    Sumi Lee received both her BS (1996) and MA (2000) from Seoul National University, first in Pharmacy and later in Philosophy. She received a second MA in Buddhist Studies from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (2006) before coming to UCLA. Her research interests include Korean Buddhism, East Asian Buddhism, and the broader Yogācāra tradition. She is currently working on her dissertation, tentatively entitled, "Toward a New Paradigm of East Asian Yogācāra Buddhism: Taehyŏn 大賢 (ca. 8th century CE), a Korean Yogācāra monk, and his Predecessors."

  • Richard McBride

    Rick McBride completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies in 2001 with a dissertation entitled, “The Domestication of Buddhism in Silla Korea: Buddhist Cults in Ancient Korean Society.” He subsequently held a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis and a Fulbright grant. He currently teaches at Brigham Young University, Hawaii. His first book, Domesticating the Dharma: Buddhist Cults and the Hwaŏm Synthesis in Silla Korea, was published by the University of Hawaii Press in 2007.

  • Jason McCombs

    Jason McCombs received his BS (1999) in Biology and Religion from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Education (2003) from Harvard University, and his MA (2009) and PhD (2014) in Buddhist Studies at UCLA. His research interests include Mahayana Buddhist history and sutra literature, Indian epigraphy, religious and social identity, and religious giving. Jason’s extracurricular interests include reading literature, philosophy, and science, playing basketball and baseball, and most recently, hanging out with his new baby daughter.

  • Karen Muldoon-Hules

  • Mark Nathan

    Mark A. Nathan graduated in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures. He also attended the University of Chicago (M.A., History of Religions) and Rutgers University (B.A., History). He specializes in Korean Buddhism from the late nineteenth century to today. His dissertation, “Buddhist Propagation and Modernization: The Significance of P’ogyo in Twentieth-Century Korean Buddhism,” looks at the adoption of religious propagation as a strategy of Buddhist reform and the role it played in reshaping the Buddhist tradition of Korea over the last century. He recently published, “The Encounter of Buddhism and Law in Early Twentieth-Century Korea,” Journal of Law and Religion 25/1 (2009-10): 1-32. Mark is a former graduate student coordinator for the Center for Buddhist Studies, and he is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Asian Studies Program at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.

  • Pori Park

    After completing her PhD at UCLA in 1998, Pori Park received a two-year Andrew W. Mellon teaching and research fellowship at Carleton College. Her research has focused on the intersection between Buddhism, colonialism, modernity, nationalism, and globalization. Examining the transformation of Buddhism in modernity, Buddhism and politics, and Buddhism’s involvement in social life, her scholarship explores the interplay between religion and politics in modern Korea. Her book, Trial and Error in Modernist Reforms: Korean Buddhism under Colonial Rule, was published in 2009, and she is working on a second book, Korean Buddhism Post-Liberation: De-colonization, Politics, and Modernization. Dr. Park is currently Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

  • Mario Poceski

    Mario Poceski received both his MA (1995, Chinese Language and Culture) and PhD (2000, Buddhist Studies) at UCLA. His main research areas include Chinese Buddhist history, literature, and philosophy, with a focus on the Tang period (618–907). He also has research and teaching interests in medieval Chinese history, Chan/Zen Buddhism, Korean and Japanese Buddhism, monastic culture and institutions, religious pluralism, and globalization of Buddhism. He has published extensively, including four books: Introducing Chinese Religions (2009), Ordinary Mind as the Way: The Hongzhou School and the Growth of Chan Buddhism (2007), Manifestation of the Tathāgata: Buddhahood According to the Avatamsaka Sūtra (1993), and Sun-Face Buddha: The Teachings of Ma-tsu and the Hung-chou School of Ch’an (1993, 2000) (the latter two of which are published under the name, Cheng Chien Bhikshu). Dr. Poceski is currently Associate Professor in the Religion Department of University of Florida.

  • Diane Riggs

    Diane Riggs completed her PhD at UCLA in 2010. Her dissertation, “The Cultural and Religious Significance of Japanese Buddhist Vestments,” was based on five years of research in Kyoto at Ryūkoku University (2002–2007) and at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kokusai Nihon bunka kenkyū senta) (2002–2003). This research has also lead her to four publications on the subject, the latest entitled, "Materials appropriate for Buddhist robes: Two Edo period interpreters of the Rag robe (funzōe) and Daoxuan's prohibition of silk robes,” in Indogaku Bukkyō gaku kenkyū (2007). She has lectured at UCLA, Kenyon College, and Oberlin College, where she now teaches as Visiting Assistant Professor.

  • David Riggs

    Before beginning Buddhist Studies, David Riggs worked as a systems analyst on NASA satellites at Goddard Space Flight Center and ran large computer centers for NASA, the US Air Force, and the Iranian government. He had his first taste of Buddhist Studies while taking a class on Ibn 'Arabi and Zen at the Imperial Academy of Iranian Philosophy. After leaving Iran, he spent a year in Japan, including a practice period at Hōsshinji, a Sōtō Zen monastic training temple. After fifteen years in the computer business, he switched lives and entered the University of Michigan’s graduate program in Buddhist Studies, where he received his MA. He finished his PhD at UCLA in 2002 with a dissertation on "The Rekindling of a Tradition: Menzan Zuihō and the Reform of Japanese Sōtō Zen in the Tokugawa Era." He has taught at the University of Illinois, UC Santa Barbara, Oberlin College, and most recently at the University of Hawai'i. His articles on Zen practice and ritual and the life of Menzan have appeared in several scholarly journals and in the Oxford University Press Zen Buddhism series. His current research concerns Zen ordinations in Japan and America.

  • Maya Stiller

    Maya Stiller specializes in traditional and contemporary Korean Buddhist art and culture. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Kansas, where she teaches courses in Korean art and culture (ancient through modern and contemporary). Through an interdisciplinary approach that includes Art History and Buddhist Studies she explores visual interpretations of Buddhist faith and practice; tensions between Buddhist patronage and social identity in Chosŏn period Korea; and local interactions between Buddhist and Confucian cultures. Dr. Stiller is currently working on two research projects. The first, which investigates regional practice and religious pluralism in pre-modern Korea, is a case study of a Korean pilgrimage site named Kŭmgangsan. The second focuses on the regional Buddhist cultures of Kyŏngsang Province, examining the contexts, motivations and implications of patronage for local monastic communities. 

  • Sherin Wing

    Sherin is a scholar and journalist.  Her academic articles have appeared in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and the Journal of International Women’s Studies.  Her dissertation as well as her scholarly articles include cultural colonialism, postconialism, and gender studies (both men and women), and religion.  She is currently writing an academic book for Routledge entitled Designing Sacred Spaces. Sherin’s journalism covers architecture, design, the economy, gender, and politics.  It spans several publications: The Architect’s Newspaper, ArchDaily, for which she writes the College Guide, Metropolis Magazine, Architect Magazine, and Archinect. She has also co-written the book, The Real Architect’s Handbook: Things I Didn’t Learn in Architecture School.

  • Harumi Ziegler

    Harumi Ziegler received her MA and PhD in Chinese Buddhist studies at UCLA, with a 2001 dissertation entitled “The Sinification of Buddhism as Found in an Early Chinese Indigenous Sutra: A Study and Translation of the Fo-shuo Ching-tu San-mei Ching (The Samadhi-Sutra on Liberation through Purification Spoken by the Buddha).” Though now retired from the Rare Books division of the UCLA Young Research Library, Dr. Ziegler is currently working on an English translation of the Hongmingji and the Fayuan zhulin (fascicles 21–40) for the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research.

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