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Department of Religious Studies

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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 [pdf]

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, Gāndhārī, 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 changing historical contexts.

I remain involved in two ongoing projects with multiple research trajectories. The first is an ethnographically informed institutional history of S. N. Goenka's global insight meditation (vipassanā) mission during the latter half of the twentieth century. This study focuses on the interplay of textual authority, charismatic authority, meditative experience, and technology in the historical formation of a transnational and transcultural religious movement. The second involves editing and studying various sections of an important codex unicus of a massive Buddhist Sanskrit manuscript of the Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra, a proto-śāstric text on Buddhist visionary yoga, cosmology, and normative ethics.


S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight. Boulder: Shambhala Publications, 2020.

Reviewed at Reading ReligionBuddhadharma, and Asian Review of Books

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 FoundationLumbini 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.


"Local Cure, Global Chant: Performing Theravadic Awakening in the Footsteps of the Ledi Sayadaw." Numen 71, Issue 2–3 (2024): 156–302.

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: 277–302. 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): 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 SeriesHamburg: 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.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.