Visiting Faculty

Visiting faculty enrich our course and curricular offerings. This list is not comprehensive but rather suggests the breadth of work our visiting faculty bring. 

Franklin Perkins
Visiting Professor of the Philosophy of Religions

Franklin Perkins is a scholar of the history of philosophy, with particular concentrations in Classical Chinese Philosophy and Early Modern European Philosophy. His work addresses common philosophical issues by drawing resources across different cultural traditions. Many of his research interests center around globalizing philosophy of religion. One of his current research project concerns methods for cultivating and controlling emotions across Chinese, Indian, and classical Mediterranean traditions. That project involves comparing conceptions of emotions and beliefs as well judgments about the value of things beyond our control. Another current project is on the development of cosmological thinking in early China, particularly as attested by recently excavated texts, and the intersections between ethics and conceptions of the world.

Previous Visitors

John Holt
Visiting Professor of Buddhism
Ph.D., History of Religions, University of Chicago

Holt is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor Emeritus of the Humanities in Religion and Asian Studies at Bowdoin College, where he has taught since 1978. His teaching focuses Asian religious traditions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, and theoretical approaches to the study of religion. In 1982, he organized and founded the Inter-collegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program for a consortium of private liberal arts colleges, and in 1986 he became the first chair of Bowdoin’s Asian Studies Program. Holt spent three separate terms as the Visiting Professor of History and Comparative Religion at Sri Lanka’s University of Peradeniya. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters from the same institution for his contributions to Sri Lankan and Buddhist studies. He was selected as the Alumnus of the Year by the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2007, and he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. He has received numerous research awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.

His publications include Discipline: the Canonical Buddhism of the Vinayapitaka (Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981), A Guide to the Buddhist Religion (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1981), Buddha in the Crow n(NY: Oxford U. Press, 1991) for which he was awarded an American Academic Book Award for Excellence in 1992; and  The Buddhist Visnu (NY: Columbia University Press, 2005), a groundbreaking study analyzing the assimilation and transformation of the Hindu cult of Visnu by the Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka.

Ven. Dhammadipa Fa Yao Sak
Visiting Lecturer of Theravada Buddhism

Currently the Abbot of the U.S. Zen Institute in Maryland, Ven. Dhammadipa Sak, Ph.D., is a Buddhist bhikkhu, a Trustee of the International Buddhist Association of America, and a Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is a scholar of Theravada Buddhism and early Mahayana Buddhism, and an acclaimed meditation instructor.

Ven. Dhammadipa was born in Taiwan and brought up in East Malaysia. He was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1987. He later earned his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in England. Ven. Dhammadipa is a Buddhist “ecumenist” who is conversant with the different traditions of Buddhism and seeks to bridge them. He is frequently involved in interfaith activities around the world.

Ven. Dhammadipa will be teaching two courses in Autumn 2019 (The Foundation of Buddhist Thoughts and Towards Ecumenical Buddhism) and two in Spring 2020 (Buddhist Scholasticism and its Practical Path Structures and Comparative Reading: Pali and Chinese Buddhist Texts).

Yu Xue
Visiting Professor of Buddhism

Professor Xue Yu is currently a Research Fellow at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Director of the Center for the Study of Chan Buddhism and Human Civilization, and Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Ethics and Chinese Culture, CUHK. He is specialized in Buddhist studies as well as Buddhist-Christian dialogue in modern China. His publications mainly include Buddhism, War, and Nationalism: Chinese Monks in the Struggle Against Japanese Aggressions, 1931-1945; New York and London: Routledge, 2005;【中國佛教的社會主義改造】 (Socialist Transformation of Chinese Buddhism), Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2014,as well as more than 100 research papers. Meanwhile, Professor Xue Yu is also the Chief Editor of the International Journal for the Study of Chan Buddhism and Human Civilization.