I received a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from the University of
California, Berkeley (1992). After completing a master of arts degree from the
University of Colorado at Boulder in Comparative Religions (1995), I began
studies at the University of Virginia. My areas of studies at Virginia
were Theravada/Indian Buddhism and Hinduism, in addition to Sanskrit and Pali.
My dissertation, which was the result of almost two years of research in Sri
Lanka conducted under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship, examined Buddhist
monastic training and education. In addition to completing another M.A. degree (1999), I completed my
Ph.D. (2002) at Virginia.
In 2001, I joined the faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion
at Western Kentucky University. As an Associate Professor here,
I have taught courses on Asian Religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Buddhism in
America, Buddhist-Christian Monasticism, Theravada Buddhism, a two semester
sequence in Pali and a semester Sanskrit course. Since 2010 I have also been
the coordinator of the Asian Studies program at WKU and plan to develop new courses
in the near future.
My research interests center on the intersection of
religion and culture in contemporary Sri Lanka and Malaysia. I recently
published a monograph titled Attracting the Heart: Social Relations and the Aesthetics
of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture (University of Hawaii Press). Since
2006, I began a new book-length project examining the social history of Theravada Buddhism
in Malaysia. Besides publishing one book and co-editing another book (with Anne Blackburn)
on Buddhist texts and practices in South and Southeast Asia, I have published more than
two dozen articles, book chapters, and book reviews.
To contact me, click: Jeffrey.Samuels@wku.edu