Current Research Projects

A History of Uighur Buddhism, 800-1800

The aim of this project is to provide the first-ever comprehensive history of Buddhism among the Uighurs while exploring some of the key issues of our post-secular age: Why convert to a new religion? How is religion manifested and maintained? And finally, why abandon it?

Buddhism and Beauty: A Global History of Aesthetics

Buddhist art is nowadays ubiquitous in America. Yet, it is not simply that anyone can now buy a Buddha statue at Urban Outfitters, but it is also the case that Buddhist ideas have permeated artistic practices in the West. Of course, in the history of the Dharma this is nothing new. The aim of this project is to explore how Buddhism influenced the arts across the world in order to explore the dynamic between religion and aesthetics in a global context.

Sources of the Mongolian Tradition

Being prepared with Christopher P. Atwood, this forthcoming volume in the Introduction to Asian Civilizations series of Columbia University Press, will provide a comprehensive collection of Mongolian works covering the development of Mongolian civilization from the earliest beginnings until today.