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Arts & Science Program

Dr. James Benn

Dr. James Benn
Department of Religious Studies, University Hall – 120
905-525-9140 ext. 24210
Office Hours:
Thursdays 1-2pm

Dr. James A. Benn, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, was trained primarily as a scholar of medieval Chinese religions (Buddhism and Taoism). His research is aimed at understanding the practices and world views of medieval men and women, both religious and lay, through the close reading of primary sources in literary Chinese—the lingua franca of East Asian religions. He has concentrated on three major areas of research: bodily practice in Chinese Religions; the ways in which people create and transmit new religious practices and doctrines; and the religious dimensions of commodity culture. In particular, he has worked on self-immolation, Chinese Buddhist apocrypha, and the religious and cultural history of tea. His website is

In the Arts & Science Program, Dr. Benn teaches ARTSSCI 3S03 / The East Asian Religious Tradition and the course offered some years in its place: RELIGST 3UU3 / Buddhism in East Asia.