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Department of Religious Studies

Our People

Daniel M. Stuart

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Religious Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2145
Office: Rutledge College, Room 331
Resources: curriculum vitae
Daniel M. Stuart


am a scholar of South Asian religions, literary cultures, and meditation traditions specializing in the texts and practices of the Buddhist tradition. Over the years, I have worked extensively on sūtra and narrative literature, śāstric texts, and Buddhist manuscripts in various Asian languages and scripts. I work with textual materials in Sanskrit, Pāli, Hindi, Buddhist Chinese and literary Tibetan. I am interested in the interrelationships between Buddhist practice traditions, theories of mind, and scriptural production in both premodern South Asia and modern India. My work engages how contemplative practitioners historically interfaced with their textual, philosophical, and material environments, fashioning dynamic meditative approaches to morphing and historically layered epistemological frames of reference.

My most recent book, The Stream of Deathless Nectar, just recently appeared from the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation and the Lumbini International Research Institute. It is a study of a never-before-edited 10th-century Sri Lankan Pali commentary--preserved in Thai manuscript traditions--on a key poetic text about the future Buddha Maitreya. My previous book, entitled A Less Traveled Path: Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra Chapter 2, With a Study on its Structure and Significance for the Development of Buddhist Meditation, appeared not long ago from the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press and the China Tibetology Research Institute. The book details an important transitional moment in middle period Indian Buddhist contemplative practice, which conditioned the emergence of fully developed Mahāyāna Buddhism and its power-oriented tantric ritual traditions. My current project, Insight in Perspective, is a historical and ethnographic study of the modern insight (vipassanā) meditation tradition in India. The study focuses on the interplay of textual authority, charismatic authority, meditative experience, and technology in the historical formation of a transnational religious movement.


The Stream of Deathless Nectar: The Short Recension of the Amatarasadhārā of the Elder Upatissa, A Commentary on the Chronicle of the Future Buddha Metteyya, With a Historical Introduction. Bangkok and Lumbini: Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation—Lumbini International Research Institute, 2017.

A Less Traveled Path: Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra Chapter 2, With a Study on its Structure and Significance for the Development of Buddhist Meditation. Vienna and Beijing: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press—China Tibetology Research Center, 2015.

Thinking About Cessation: The Pṛṣṭhapālasūtra of the Dīrghāgama in Context. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde. Vienna: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 2013.


“Map Becomes Territory: Knowledge and Modes of Existence in Middle Period Meditation Practice.” In Vincent Eltschinger and Cristina Pecchia (eds.), Mārga: Paths to Liberation in South Asian Buddhist Traditions. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2020.

“Becoming Animal: Karma and the Animal Realm Envisioned through an Early Yogācāra Lens.” Religions 10(6), 363 (2019).

“Yogācāra Substrata? Precedent Frames for Yogācāra Thought among Third-Century Yoga Practitioners in Greater Gandhāra.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 46, no. 2 (2018 [Online First: 9 October 2017]): 193–240.

“Insight Transformed: Coming to Terms with Mindfulness in South Asian and Global Frames.” Religions of South Asia 11.2–3 (2017): 158–181.

“Legislating Consent: Dispute, Accord, and the Vote in Early Indian Monasticisms.” In Jinhua Chen, Ciulan Liu, and Susan Andrews (eds.), Rules of Engagement: Medieval Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Regulation: 219–61. Hamburg Buddhist Studies Series. Hamburg: University of Hamburg Press, 2017.

“Unmanifest Perceptions: Mind-matter interdependence and its consequences in Buddhist thought and practice.” In Jundo Nagashima and Seongcheol Kim (eds.), Śrāvakabhūmi and Buddhist Manuscripts: 109–71. Tokyo: Nombre Publications, 2017.

“Power in Practice: Cosmic Sovereignty Envisioned in Buddhism's Middle Period.” The Critical Review for Buddhist Studies 18 (2015): 165–96.

"Text, Path and Practice: Meditation and Scholasticism in Indian Buddhism During the Period of the Early Śāstras." In Mahesh Deokar, Pradeep Gokhale, and Lata Mahesh Deokar (eds.), Buddhist Texts and Traditions: 161–99. Pune: Savitribai Phule Pune University Press, 2014.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.