I hold a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. My training was mainly philological, concentrating on Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan Buddhist literature. For a long time, I have been concerned with how to make classical Buddhist literature, philosophy, and practice relevant to contemporary life. So, much of my work stems from that concern.
I have written books and articles on various aspects of Buddhism. Some of this work is intended for the public, some is more specialized. I have also practiced for many years in several Buddhist traditions, including Vipassana, Dzogchen, and mainly Soto Zen. At various periods in my life, I have led meditation groups and offered retreats.
My recent work is best summed up in the title for a book I am currently writing for Bloomsbury: A Critique of Western Buddhism. My critique draws from François Laruelle's non-philosophy and Peter Sloterdijk's anthropotechnic. The blog I founded in 2011, Speculative Non-Buddhism, contains many essays, by me and others, that reflect this critical direction.
Since the early 1990s, I have taught in the religion departments of several universities, including the University of Georgia (where I received tenure), Brown University, Bowdoin College, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Won Institute of Graduate Studies.
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New post at Speculative Non-Buddhism: "Buddhofascism:
"Criticism Matters: A Response to Rick Repetti," my contribution to the new book Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016) at Speculative Non-Buddhism.
New essay by Tom Pepper, "Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?," at the SNB blog.
I recently did two interviews with Matthew O'Connell at the Imperfect Buddha podcast.
A thoughtful discussion of the Speculative Non-Buddhism project at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Link at SNB.
* Several new posts at Lines of Flight.
* New interview with my Ruin band mate Cordy Swope at Seymour Magazine.