Chris Jones

CJBlackChris Jones completed his doctorate at the Oriental Institute of Oxford University in 2015, and is currently affiliated also to the Theology Faculty of Oxford University. His doctoral research concerned the Buddhist account of the self present in the earlier tathāgatagarbha literature, and his ongoing research remains the doctrinal content of these texts; their relationship to the wider Indian Mahāyāna; and their portrayal of non-Buddhist Indian religious traditions.

Sarah Shaw

Sarah Shaw is a Part-time lecturer for the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education, and a Faculty Member of the Oriental Institute.

Her research interests include:

  • Early Buddhist (Pāli) suttas and Abhidhamma material on meditation
  • Early Buddhist narrative: literary features of Jātakas and Dhammapada stories
  • Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenth-century writers
  • Modern South and Southeast Asian Buddhist ritual, chant and meditation

Recent publications include:

  • An Introduction to Buddhist Meditation, London and New York: Routledge (2008)
  • Linda Covill, Ulrike Roesler and Sarah Shaw eds., Lives Lived, Lives Imagined: Biographies of Awakening,Boston, MA: Wisdom (2010)
  • The Ten Great Birth Stories of the Buddha, co-written with Naomi Appleton.  Bangkok, Silkworm Press (2015)


Sarah’s newest book has just been published.  Mindfulness:  Where It Comes From and What It Means.  You can find it here.
The audiobook is also currently offered for free with an Audible trial.


Lance Cousins

Obituary Notice:

We announce with deep regret that Lance S. Cousins, Research Fellow of the OCBS, died in Oxford on 14 March 2015.

Here is a link to a collection of his academic works held online:

L.S. Cousins was formerly Senior Lecturer in Comparative Religion (University of Manchester) and a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College (Oxford). Also a former President of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and of the Pali Text Society His main areas of research concern the history of Buddhist schools, Abhidhamma literature and thought, as well as Pali, Middle Indian and Buddhist Sanskrit textual studies. His publications include 22 articles in periodicals and festschrifts and some edited volumes. To this can be added some 44 book reviews in 15 periodicals. and the section on Buddhism in: John R. Hinnells, _A New Handbook of Living Religions, Blackwell, 1997, pp. 369–444. Eight of his articles have been reprinted in Vols I–IV of Williams, Paul, Buddhism: critical concepts in religious studies, Routledge, London, 2005. In Oxford, he has taught various aspects of Buddhism, mainly in the Theology Faculty and Pali and Middle Indian in the Oriental Faculty. He has also taught Buddhist meditation for many years and is the Founding Chairman of the Samatha Trust and other related organizations.


Tambapaṇṇiya and Tāmraśāṭiya


Ven Dhammasami

dhammasamiOriginally from Shan State, Union of Burma, Khammai Dhammasami has a doctorate from Oxford. The incumbent of the Oxford Buddha Vihara, he also heads the International Association of Buddhist Universities ( and has been involved in organising the UN day of Vesak, based in Bangkok since 2005. He travels the world both in that capacity and as teacher and meditation master. He has a key role in the OCBS’ relations with the Sangha and Buddhist Universities in Theravada countries and more widely across Asia.

Jowita Kramer

jowita2Jowita Kramer completed a doctorate (Hamburg, 2004) and habilitation (Munich, 2010) in Indology. The main focus of her research lies on Indian and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism (with particular emphasis on the philosophical concepts of the Yogācāra tradition) and on aspects of authorship, originality, and intertextuality in Buddhist commentarial literature. Her publications include a monograph on the Yogācāra concept of the “five categories” (vastu) and studies of the Pañcaskandhakavibhāṣā, a 6th-century commentary by the Indian scholar Sthiramati on Vasubandhu’sPañcaskandhaka.

See also the Faculty of Oriental Studies website at

Robert Mayer

robmayerRobert Mayer joined the Oriental Institute in 2002, where he holds the posts of University Research Lecturer and Research Officer.   He completed his BA (Hons) at Bristol, and his PhD at Leiden. His first job was Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wales, followed by a Visiting Chair in Tibetology at the Humboldt University of Berlin from 1999 to 2001, and after a year in the Anthropology Department at Kent, he came to Oxford in October 2002. He has also twice been a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College. He is a specialist in the rNying ma school of Tibetan Buddhism, and has published a number of books, monographs and articles, over twenty of them since 2006 for the current REF period, and mostly together with his wife and co-worker, Dr Cathy Cantwell.  One of his goals is to clarify the early rNying ma period by studying the Dunhuang texts in context. Another goal is to improve the standards of philology and critical editing within Tibetan Studies. A third goal is to preserve, protect and describe the few surviving witnesses of the once much more plentiful ‘Ancient Tantra Collection’, or rNying ma’i rgyud ‘bum.  A researcher by vocation, he and his wife Dr Cathy Cantwell have designed and directed several large research projects, mainly funded by the AHRC. However, he also occasionally teaches and takes graduate students, particularly if their interests overlap with his.

He and Cathy’s blog can be found at:, and his faculty staff page at

Rob has recently published a new book with Cathy.  Please Click Here for more details.

Enduring Myths Smrang, Rabs and Ritual in the Dunhuang Texts on Padmasambhava


Suren Rāghavan

surenSuren – a native of Sri Lanka, won the first James Madison Trust Scholarship for Asia and joined the School of Political and International Relations at the University of Kent in 2005 for his MA. He wrote a dissertation on the question of Federal Possibility in Sri Lanka, for which he was awarded a distinction. He returned to Canada and engaged with a research project with University of Ottawa. Suren was offered another scholarship for his PhD by James Madison Trust in 2008. Above this, he also won the ORSAS scholarship by the British Government (for the years 2008-2011) Suren is also the recipient of the OSAP award offered by the Ontario Provincial government of Canada. He carries a number of years of experience in direct political activities including Track I & II peace negotiations and political reforms at national level in Sri Lanka.

He is currently a visiting professor at University of St Paul – Ottawa. He has presented more than 25 research papers at various international forums and contributed to several academic books. His recent publications include The Buddhist Monks and the Politics of Lanka’s Civil War (Equinox – UK), and Post -War Militancy of Sinhala Saṅgha: Reasons and Reactions (Oxford University Press (North America) [co-edited] .

Yao Jue

yaojueYao Jue has a doctorate from Yunnan University in history (2007). And, she is the postdoctoral research fellow of the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica (2009-2011). Currently, she is the associate research fellow of the Institute of Religious Studies, Yunnan University. Her research fields include Theravada Buddhist texts in Sipsonbanna Dai Lue script (Vessantara Jātaka and Ordination text in particular), Pāli texts and Tangut Buddhist texts.

Yu-Shuang Yao

yu-shuang yaoYu-Shuang Yao completed her PhD in Sociology of Religion at the University of London in 2001. She is an Associate Professor at Fo Guang University, Taiwan, specializing in contemporary religions of Taiwan. She has published various articles in Chinese and won scholarships from the CCK, International Scholarly Exchange for Thesis Fellowship (1997), and the Fulbright American Study (2004).


Brian Victoria

Brian Victoria

Brian Daizen Victoria is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a 1961 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Sōtō Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University in Tokyo, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Religious Studies at Temple University.

In addition to Zen Terror in Prewar Japan: Portrait of an Assassin (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020), Brian’s major writings include a 2nd, enlarged edition of Zen At War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Zen War Stories (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003); an autobiographical work in Japanese entitled Gaijin de ari, Zen bozu de ari (As a Foreigner, As a Zen Priest), published by San-ichi Shobo in 1971; Zen Master Dōgen, coauthored with Prof. Yokoi Yūhō of Aichi-gakuin University (Weatherhill, 1976); and a translation of The Zen Life by Sato Koji (Weatherhill, 1972). In addition, Brian has published numerous journal articles, focusing on the relationship of not only Buddhism but religion in general to violence and warfare.

From 2005 to 2013 Brian was a professor of Japanese Studies and director of the AEA “Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program” at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH. From 2013 to 2015 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan. Brian currently resides in Kyoto, Japan where he is writing a new book on Uchiyama Gudō, a Sōtō Zen priest executed in January 1911 due to his opposition to the Russo-Japanese War and embrace of socialism. Brian is a fully ordained Buddhist priest in the Sōtō Zen sect.

Please click below to see a video of a talk given by Prof Victoria entitled “War, Zen Buddhism and Academia” at an IAFOR-sponsored conference in Kobe, Japan in Fall 2016.