In this first episode, we speak with Dr. Daniel M. Stuart about his path to Buddhist Studies, different academic approaches to studying Buddhism, how meditation might drive new ideas in the history of Buddhism, differences and continuities in meditation practices across Buddhist history, and preview his upcoming online course, BSO 102 | Buddhist Meditation in Theory and Practice.
Daniel M. Stuart is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the history of traditional Buddhist contemplative practices from their origins in premodern South Asia into the global present. He holds an MA in Sanskrit Literature and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Stuart is particularly interested in how Asian thought systems, practice regimes, and cosmovisions converge in specific ways to form distinctive traditions of practice at particular moments in history. He has worked on a wide range of premodern Indian textual traditions, bringing to light lesser-known texts and unedited manuscripts in various Asian languages and scripts. He works with textual materials in Sanskrit, Pāli, Hindi, Gāndhārī, Buddhist Chinese and literary Tibetan. He has also spent nearly a decade in Asia as a student, as a research scholar, and as a practitioner of meditation. He is the author of four books: Thinking about Cessation, A Less Traveled Path, The Stream of Deathless Nectar, and S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight.