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Robert Buswell


Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Asian Languages & Cultures

Department: Asian Languages & Cultures
Los Angeles, CA

Keywords: Japan, Asia, Korea, Religion, Buddhist Studies

Robert Buswell held the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at UCLA, where he also was Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and founding director of the Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. From 2009 to 2011, he served concurrently as founding director of the Dongguk Institute for Buddhist Studies Research (Pulgyo Haksurwŏn) at Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea. Buswell has published sixteen books and some forty articles on various aspects of the Korean, Chinese, and Indian traditions of Buddhism, as well as on Korean Religions more broadly. His books include Numinous Awareness is Never Dark: The Korean Master Chinul’s “Excerpts” on Zen Practice (Honolulu, 2016), Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo’s Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra (Honolulu, 2007), The Zen Monastic Experience (Princeton, 1992), and Religions of Korea in Practice (Princeton, 2007). He is also editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Macmillan Reference, 2004) and coauthor (with Donald S. Lopez, Jr.) of the 1.2-million-word Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton, 2014), which won the Dartmouth Medal for top reference work of the year from the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association. Buswell was elected president of the Association for Asian Studies in 2008, the first specialist in either Korean or Buddhist studies to hold that position. He was the recipient of the Puri Prize for Buddhist Studies in Korea and, in 2009, was awarded the prestigious Manhae Grand Prize, a major Korean national prize, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to establishing Korean Buddhist Studies in the West. Buswell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.