Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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  • David L. McMahan

    Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies
    717-291-3923
    Office: STA220

    Education

    Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara

    Research Interests

    Buddhism and modernity, South Asian Buddhism

    Publications

    Books

    David L. McMahan, ed. Buddhism in the Modern World. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

    David L. McMahan. The Making of Buddhist Modernism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 

    David L. McMahanEmpty Vision: Metaphor and Visionary Imagery in Mahayana Buddhism. New York and London: RoutlegeCurzon, 2002.


    Articles and Chapters

    "Buddhism and Multiple Modernities." In Buddhism Beyond Borders. Ed. Scott Mitchell and Natalie Quli. State University of New York Press. Forthcoming.

    “The Venerable Olande Ananda: The Return of the Dutch to Sri Lanka.” In Figures of Buddhist Modernity, edited by Jeffrey Samuels et al.  University of Hawai’i Press. Forthcoming.

    “The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.” In Conversations: An Online Journal of the Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, 2013. http://mavcor.yale.edu/conversations/object-narratives/jade-buddha-universal-peace

    "The Enchanted Secular: Buddhism and the Emergence of Transtraditional 'Spirituality'." The Eastern Buddhist, 43/1&2, 2012, 205-223.

    "Intersections of Buddhism and Secularity." In Interreligious Dialogue and the Cultural Shaping of Religions, edited by Catherine Cornille. Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock, 2012, 137-158.

    “Introduction.”  In Buddhism in the Modern World, edited by David L. McMahan. New York and London: Routledge, 2012, 1-6.

    “Buddhist Modernism.” In Buddhism in the Modern World, edited by David L. McMahan. New York and London: Routledge, 2012, 159-176.  Translated into Japanese by TANAKA Satoru in SUEKI Fumihiko, ed., Transformations of the Buddha: Criss-crossing Streams of Buddhist Modernism.  Kyoto: Hozokan, ltd., 2014.

    “Clifton Buddha.” In Frequencies: A Collaborative Genealogy of Spirituality. http://freq.uenci.es/, edited by Kathryn Lofton and John Lardas Modern, 2011.

    “Buddhism as the ‘Religion of Science’: From Colonial Ceylon to the Laboratories of Harvard.” In Handbook of Religion and the Authority of Science. Edited by James R. Lewis and Olav Hammer. Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2010.

    “A Brief History of Interdependence.” Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Series 3, No. 10, 2008, 131-176.

    "Buddhism and the Epistemic Discourses of Modernity." In The Boundaries of Knowledge in Buddhism, Christianity, and the Natural Sciences. Edited by Paul Numrich. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008.

    "Buddhist Meditational Systems." Series of fourteen articles for the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Edited by Damien Keown and Charles Prebish. New York and London: Routledge Press, 2007.

    "Modernity and the Early Discourse of Scientific Buddhism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 72, No 4 (2004), 897-933.

    "Transpositions of Metaphor and Imagery in the Gandavyuha and Tantric Buddhist Practice." Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Vol. 3, No. 6 (Fall 2004), 181-194.

    "Demythologization and the Core-versus-Accretions Model of Buddhism." Indian International Journal of Buddhism. Vol. 10, No. 5 (2004), 63-99.

    "Repackaging Zen for the West." In Westward Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Asia. Edited by Charles S. Prebish and Martin Baumann, 218-229. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

    "New Frontiers in Buddhism: Three Recent Works on Buddhism in America." Journal of Global Buddhism, Vol. 1, October (2000), 116-135.

    "Mahayana," "Buddhist Schools/Traditions: South Asia," "Dharamsala," in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers 2000.

    "A Long Awaited Call: A Buddhist Response." Ethics and World Religions: Cross-cultural Case Studies, 273-279. Edited by Regina Wentzel Wolfe and Christine E. Gudorf. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1999.

    "Orality, Writing and Authority in South Asian Buddhism: Visionary Literature and the Struggle for Legitimacy in the Mahayana." History of Religions. Vol. 37, No. 3 (1998), 249-274.


    Annotated Bibliographies (for Oxford Bibliographies Online)

    “Buddhist Modernism” http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com, 2010.

    “Buddhist Meditation” http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com, 2010.

    “Vision and Visualization” http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com, 2010.

    Presentations

    “Buddhism and Global Secularisms.” Keynote address at “Buddhisms in Modern China: Between Resistance, Secularization, and New Religiosities” conference.  University of Göttingen, Germany.  May 14, 2014.

    “Buddhist Modernism in the West: Colonialism, Beat Poets, and Brainscans.” Invited lecture at University of Virginia, Contemplative Studies Center, February 3, 2014.

    “How Meditation Works: Theorizing the Role of Cultural Context in Buddhist Contemplative Practices.”  Invited paper at “Buddhism and Modernity” conference.  Aarhus University, Denmark, October 29, 2013.

    “Meditation in Context: From Ancient Buddhist Monastery to Modern Psychotherapist’s Office.” Bradley R. Dewey Award For Outstanding Scholarship lecture. Franklin & Marshall College, October 17, 2013.“Buddhism and Science: Rivals or Allies?”  Invited lecture at Berry College. April 4, 2013.

    “Meditation in Context: Ancient and Modern.”  Invited paper at “Secular Buddhism: Rethinking the Nikāyas for Our Times” colloquium at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, March 27, 2013.

    “Reflections on the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative.”  Invited talk at panel: “Buddhism & Science: An Unholy Alliance? Reflections on the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative,” March 29, 2012.

    “The Enchanted Secular: Buddhism and the Emergence of Transtraditional ‘Spirituality.’ ”  Invited paper at the 41st International Research Symposium, “Modernity and Buddhism Conference,” Nichibunken, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, October 14, 2011.

    “Intersections of Buddhism and Secularity.”  Invited paper at “Interreligious Dialogue and the Cultural Shaping of Religions” conference, Boston College, September 23, 2011.

    “The Intertwining of Buddhism and Science: Historical and Cultural Reflections.” Invited lecture at Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Garrison, NY, June 14, 2011.

    “Science, Meditation, and Multiple Modernities: Tibetan Buddhism in Three Keys.” American Academy of Religion conference, Atlanta, October 31, 2010.

    “Buddhist Meditation as Scientific Practice? Sorting Out the Implications of the Neuroscientific Study of Meditation.”  American Academy of Religion conference, Atlanta, October 30, 2010.

    “Buddhisms in North America.”  Invited lecture, Minzu University, Beijing, China, May 18, 2010.

    “Buddhism and the Discourses of Modernity.”  Invited lecture, Princeton University, April 1, 2010.

    “The Making of Buddhist Modernism.”  Invited lecture, Franklin & Marshall, Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, March 31, 2010.

    “Secularism, Re-sacralization, and Legitimation in Buddhist Modernism.” “Reconfigurations of the Religious Field” conference, Bochum, Germany. December, 3, 2009.

    “Buddhism as Anti-colonialism: The Colonial Origins of Buddhist Modernism.” Invited lecture, “Global Asias” conference, Penn State University, October 23, 2009.

    “Buddhist Modernism and Hybrid Modernities.” Invited lecture, “Alternative Modernities?” conference, University of Zurich, Switzerland, September 9, 2009.

    “Ways of Being Buddhist in the Modern World.” Invited lecture, University of Heidelberg, Germany, June 19, 2009.

     “Buddhist Modernism.”  Invited lecture, University of Heidelberg, Germany, June 18, 2009.

     “Buddhism as the ‘Religion of Science’: From Colonial Ceylon to Laboratories of Wisconsin.”  Invited lecture, Muhlenberg College, March 25, 2009.

    “A Brief History of Interdependence.” American Academy of Religion National Conference, November 17, 2007.

    “Buddhism and the Epistemic Discourses of Modernity.”  Invited lecture at “The Boundaries of Knowledge in Buddhism, Christianity, and the Natural Sciences” conference, Columbus, Ohio, November 11, 2006.

     “Anagarika Dharmapala and  the Discourse of Scientific Buddhism.” American Academy of Religion National Conference, November, 2003.

     “Paradoxical Dialectics in the Buddhist Perfection of Wisdom literature.” Invited lecture, Pomona College, April, 2003.

    “Transpositions of Metaphor and Imagery in Tantric Buddhist Practice.” Society for Tantric Studies conference, San Marino, Italy, June, 2002.

     “Tantric Sadhana as Ritualization of Encounter Narratives in Mahåyåna SËtras.”  American Academy of Religion National Conference, November, 2000.

    “Visual and Spatial Metaphor in the Buddhist Epistemic Paradigm.”  American Academy of Religion National Conference, November, 1999.

    “East Asian Buddhism, Past and Present.”  Series of lectures at University of Vermont’s Institute for Asian Studies, April-June, 1999.

    “Reality-Limit and Social Boundary in Buddhist Discourse.”  Borderlands Symposium, University of Vermont, April, 1999.

    “Theistic Trends in Buddhism and Hinduism.”  Panel respondent, American Academy of Religion National Conference, November, 1998.

    “Visual Metaphor and Visionary Discourse in Mahayana Buddhism.”  University of Vermont, October, 1998.

    “Lecture Series on the Religions of Japan.”  University of Vermont, Institute on Japan, Department of Asian Studies, August, 1998.

    “Sensory Metaphors in the Construction of Religious and Philosophical Paradigms.”  University of California, Santa Barbara, January, 1998.

    “Knowledge and Vision in South Asian Mahayana Buddhism.”  American Academy of Religion National Conference, November, 1996.

    “Representations of Non-Western Religions in the Popular Media.”  Media and Society Forum, University of California, Santa Barbara, April, 1996.

    “Language and Vision in Early Mahayana Buddhism.” American Academy of Religion Western Regional Conference, March, 1996.

    “Tantric Appropriation of Traditional Mahayana Buddhist Themes.” Association for Asian Studies Regional Conference, October, 1994.


    Course Information

    RST 122 Introduction to Asian religions

    RST 248 Buddhism

    RST 322 Buddhism in North America

    RST 337 Hindu Literature and Practice

    RST 367 Self, Society, and Nature in Chinese and Japanese Religions

    RST 372 Zen Buddhism: Thought, Practice and Culture

    CNX 121 The Self in Global Contexts