Buddhist Studies Faculty & Staff


Paul Harrison
George Edwin Burnell Professor, Religious Studies
Building 70, Room 72E

Professor Harrison, a graduate of Australian National University, works on Buddhist literature, especially that of the Mahayana. His research interests also include the history of the Tibetan canon and the study of Buddhist manuscripts. His publications include a number of editions, translations and studies of Buddhist texts, such as The Samadhi of Direct Encounter with the Buddhas of the Present, and he is co-editor of the series Buddhist Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection. Co-Director of HCBSS.

John Kieschnick
Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor, Religious Studies

A graduate of Stanford University, Professor Kieschnick works on the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism, especially in relation to other aspects of Chinese Culture. He is author of The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography  and The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture.  He is currently working on a manuscript on Chinese Buddhist historiography.  

Visiting Faculty

Funayama Toru
Shinnyo-en Visiting Professor, Religious Studies (Winter)

A graduate of Kyoto University, Funayama Toru specializes in medieval Chinese Buddhism in the Six Dynasties period and the scholastic tradition of the Yogācāra school of Indian Buddhism during the sixth through tenth centuries. His recent works include Kōsōden, 4 vols., co-authored with Yoshikawa Tadao, and Shintai sanzō kenkyū ronshū. He is a professor at the Institute for Research in Humanities at Kyoto University.

Jan Nattier
Shinnyo-en Visiting Professor, Religious Studies (Spring)

Jan Nattier did her undergraduate work in comparative religion (specializing in Buddhism) at Indiana University, where she also began graduate training in the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies.  She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University under the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (specializing in classical Mongolian and Tibetan). She has taught at Macalester College, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of Tokyo, in addition to serving as a member of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Soka University).

Affiliated Lecturers

Nicholas Witkowski
Instructor, Religious Studies (Spring)

Research Area: Early Chinese Buddhism

Faculty Emeritus

Carl Bielefeldt
Evans-Wentz Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus
Building 70, Room 71C

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Professor Bielefeldt specializes in East Asian Buddhism, with particular emphasis on the intellectual history of the Zen tradition. He is the author of Dōgen's Manuals of Zen Meditation and other works on early Japanese Zen, and serves as editor of the Sōtō Zen Text Project. Co-Director of HCBSS.


Irene Lin
Associate Director, HCBSS
Building 70, Room 71F

Dr. Lin holds a juris doctorate from the University of Southern California, Law Center and is a member of the State Bar of California. She also holds an MA and a Ph.D. from the Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University, specializing in East Asian Buddhism. She has published several articles on divine boys in the Japanese religious imaginaire. Dr. Lin ran the Stanford Center for Buddhist Studies from its inception in 1997 to 2001 and has returned from overseas in 2007 to run the Center again.