David L McMahan Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies
Education and Research
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
CNX 188 The Good Life
Publications and Presentations
McMahan, David L. Rethinking Meditation: Buddhist Meditative Practices in Ancient and Modern Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023.
McMahan, David L. and Erik Braun, eds. Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
McMahan, David L., ed. Buddhism in the Modern World. New York and London: Routledge, 2012. (Spanish translation, La construcción del budismo moderno, by Juan Manuel Cincunegui.)
McMahan, David L. The Making of Buddhist Modernism. New York: Oxford University, 2008.
McMahan, David L. Empty Vision: Metaphor and Visionary Imagery in Mahāyāna Buddhism. New York and London: RoutlegeCurzon, 2002.
Articles and Chapters
“Buddhism and Secular Subjectivities: Individualism and Fragmentation in the Mirrors of Secularism.” In Richard Payne, ed., pp. 56-78. Secularizing Buddhism: New Perspectives on a Dynamic Tradition. Boulder: Shambhala, 2021.
“Secularism Is Not Secular: Investigating the Urge to Purge Secularism of Buddhist and Hindu Influence.” Religious Studies Review. Vol 46, no. 2. June 2020.
“Buddhism and Global Secularisms.” In John S. Harding, Victor Sōgen Hori, and Alexander Soucy, ed. Buddhism in the Global Eye: Beyond East and West. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.
“Misuses of Mindfulness: Ron Purser and David Loy’s ‘Beyond McMindfulness.’ ” In Peirce Salguero, ed. Buddhism and Medicine: Modern and Contemporary Sources. 221-230. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.
“Introduction: From Colonialism to Brainscans: Modern Transformations of Buddhist Meditation” (with Erik Braun). In David L. McMahan and Erik Braun, ed. Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
“How Meditation Works: Theorizing the Role of Cultural Context in Buddhist Contemplative Practices.” In David L. McMahan and Erik Braun, ed., Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
“Buddhism and Global Secularisms.” Journal of Global Buddhism, vol. 18, 2017, 122-28.
“The Venerable Olande Ananda: The Return of the Dutch to Sri Lanka.” In Figures of Buddhist Modernity, edited by Jeffrey Samuels et al. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016, 168-70.
“Buddhism and Multiple Modernities.” In Buddhism Beyond Borders, edited by Scott Mitchell and Natalie Quli. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015, 181-96.
“The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.” In Conversations: An Online Journal of the Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, Yale University, 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, vol. 43, no. 1&2, 2012, 205-223.
“Intersections of Buddhism and Secularity.” In Interreligious Dialogue and the Cultural Shaping of Religions, edited by Catherine Cornille and Stephanie Corigliano. 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. Leiden: Brill, 2010, 117-140.
“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, 43-58.
“Buddhist Meditational Systems.” Series of fourteen articles for The Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Edited by Damien Keown and Charles Prebish. New York and London: Routledge, 2007.
“Modernity and the Discourse of Scientific Buddhism.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 72, No. 4 (2004), 897-933.
“Demythologization and the Core-versus-Accretions Model of Buddhism.” Indian International Journal of Buddhism. Vol. 10, No. 5 (2004), 63-99.
“Transpositions of Metaphor and Imagery in the Gaṇḍavyūha and Tantric Buddhist Practice.” Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Vol. 3, No. 6 (Fall 2004), 181-194.
“Repackaging Zen for the West.” In Westward Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Asia. Edited by Charles S. Prebish and Martin Baumann. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002, 218-229.
“New Frontiers in Buddhism: Three Recent Works on Buddhism in America.” Journal of Global Buddhism, Vol. 1, October (2000), 116-135.
“Mahāyāna,” “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. Edited by Regina Wentzel Wolfe and Christine E. Gudorf. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1999: 273-279.
“Orality, Writing and Authority in South Asian Buddhism: Visionary Literature and the Struggle for Legitimacy in the Mahāyāna.” History of Religions. Vol. 37, No. 3 (1998), 249-274. Reprinted in The Bodhisattva Ideal: Essays on the Emergence of Mahayana. Edited by Nyanatusita Bhikkhu. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2013.