Directory of Authors/Contributors

Original content:

Altenburg, Gerjan is a graduate student at the Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University with a research interest in Indian Buddhist monastic literature extant in Sanskrit and Tibetan.

Beaudoin, Crystal is a graduate student at the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. She is interested in ideas about death and the afterlife in Chinese religious and philosophical thought. Of particular interest to her are the Chinese “Ghost Festival,” ghost stories and representations of mortuary rituals in Chinese literature.

Butterfield, Julian is a graduate student at the University of Toronto.

Collins, Casey is a PhD candidate in Asian studies at the University of British Columbia. His research’s focus is on religious movements in East Asia during the 20th century. His work examines sociological and cognitive approaches to religious studies, charismatic religious leaders, ritual, and the cultural evolution of religion. Casey also assists with event planning and website curation for The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at UBC.

Duoer, Daigengna is currently a Master’s student in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. Her study and research focus is on Buddhist practices in Mongolia from the Yuan to the Qing dynasty and the documentation of personal oral histories of contemporary Mongolians in Inner Mongolia and the role of Buddhism in their lives, along with the recent revival of Buddhism in Inner Mongolia.

Fardelos, Larissa is a doctoral student in the Department for the Study of Religion in collaboration with the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto. She specializes in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions of Northeast India and Nepal with a particular interest in explicitly gendered religious texts and women’s participation in ritual and practice. Larissa’s research investigates the application and interpretation of medieval texts within contemporary religious communities, utilizing both anthropological methods as well as primary text interpretation.

Heckman, Annie is an MA student in the Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto with a focus in Buddhist studies. She is studying the life story of the 14th-15th century Tibetan engineer-saint Thangtong Gyalpo.

Le, Ngoc completed her BA at Simon Fraser University.

Pirbhai, Hassan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, and is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in Natural/Biological Sciences at his alma mater. Hassan has authored writings under the CJBS Numata Speaker Series, and is also studying Zen Buddhism under the tutelage of Dr. Wendi Adamek, who is the Numata Chair at the University of Calgary.

Scott, Tony hails from the Dinosaur Capital of the Universe in the Alberta Badlands. After studying in Calgary, Ankara, Poona and Hong Kong, Tony is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto, where he looks forward to more learning, striking and overcoming myriad challenges with his cohort and colleagues.

Shing, H.S. Sum Cheuk completed his MA at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on medieval Chinese religions, specifically the practices of Buddhism and Daoism. He is particularly interested in the parallels and intersections between these two traditions, especially the visual and material culture of ritual materials. His work also seeks to engage with broader methodological and theoretical concerns in ritual studies, visual culture, and religious history.

Weishar, Mitchell is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Religious Studies at McMaster University. His current research interests lie in issues concerning Buddhist women in contemporary Japanese society.

Zhao, Alice completed her BA at the University of British Columbia.

Curated content:

1. Affiliated Authors:

Joffe, Ben P.  is a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests focus specifically on the anthropology of Tibet and Tibetan diaspora. His doctoral dissertation research is concerned with the ways in which the esoteric knowledge and charisma of Tibetan non-celibate professional renouncers and Tantric ritual specialists (Tibetan: སྔགས་པ/མ) are being mediated, circulated, appropriated and contested in light of the increasing globalization of Tibetan Buddhism, and drives to make legible a Tibetan nation and to preserve and reform Tibetan culture in exile. He is interested in how and engage institutional and other forms of authority in exile, and the ways in which the expertise, charisma and activities of such specialists can be said to contribute to the forging of particular moral orders and imaginaries in situations of dislocation, change and uncertainty.

Payne, Richard K. is Dean and Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley.

Purser, Ron is Professor of Management in the College of Business and the Educational Doctorate in Leadership program in the College of Education at San Francisco State University. His scholarship currently focuses on mindfulness in organizations, and how Buddhist psychology and Buddhist social theory can inform social change and transformation.

Thomas, Jolyon B. is an Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on Japanese religion, pop culture, and history. His research covers the politics of religious freedom; religion and material and visual culture; religion and education; religion and capitalism; and relationships between religion, sex, and gender. Jolyon is also an editor of the Asian Traditions section of the Marginalia Review of Books and a regular contributor at Sacred Matters.

2. Independent Scholars:

Ng, Edwin describes himself as a postcolonial “Western Buddhist” convert because, even though he was born and raised in Singapore where he was exposed to the Buddhist customs of his diasporic Chinese ancestral heritage, he only embraced Buddhism after he migrated to Australia and discovered Western translations of the teachings. His interest in the cultural translation of mindfulness is motivated by the lived tensions of straddling multiple cultural and intellectual traditions, and of attempting to cultivate mindfulness to support scholarship, pedagogy, and activism within and against an increasingly corporatized academic regime.

Palmo, Kunsang

Su, Lisa

Sugunasiri, Suwanda H. J. is formerly of the Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College, University of Toronto, and Founding Editor/Editor Emeritus of the Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies.

Tan, Chun Yee Dennis

Walker, Lee Jay


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