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Core Faculty

photo of James A. Benn

James A. Benn

Ph.D. East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles2001

Professor | Director, McMaster University Centre for Buddhist Studies


Postdoctoral Fellows

Former Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Jeffrey Kotyk (PhD, Leiden), postdoctoral fellow at the Centre, 2018 to 2020. Dr. Kotyk held a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Kotyk is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC. While at MCBS he published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, gave presentations on his research, taught one undergraduate class in SCAR, and organized an international workshop. 


Dr. Shayne A. P. Dahl (PhD, University of Toronto) held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at MCBS 2019 to 2021. He is currently a postodoctoral fellow at Harvard. He published two peer-reviewed articles while at MCBS and gave several presentations on his research

Visiting Scholars

Dr. Juan Wu, Faculty Fellow Summer 2018

Dr. Juan Wu is Associate Professor in Indian Buddhist Studies at Tsinghua University. Her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies is from Cardiff University.

During her visiting fellowship at McMaster, she completed final revisions of two articles: “Buddhist Salvation of Ajātaśatru and Jaina Non-Salvation of Kūṇika”, (accepted for publication Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (BSOAS) for Spring 2019; “Contact-Induced Linguistic Creations: Through the Lens of Chinese Buddhist Translations”, which will be published in a collection of papers presented in the symposium “Connections: China and the West in the Making of History” held at Oxford University in December 2017. She also wrote a large part another article titled “War as A Backdrop for Law-Making: Lesser-Known Stories of Ajātaśatru’s Warfare from Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes”. This article examines various versions of the story of Ajātaśatru’s warfare in relation to the elder Maudgalyāyana’s guiltlessness (anāpatti) of the fourth pārājika offence, and presents an overview of all other Buddhist canonical legal cases in which warfare is used as a narrative backdrop for monastic rulemaking. Professor Shayne Clarke at McMaster was able to give valuable feedback on a draft of this article. She also wrote a major grant proposal for a comparative study of stories and rules about nuns in Indian Buddhist and Jaina traditions. The grant application was successful.