Living Deliberately in the 21st Century

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Chicago Humanities Festival
Chicago, Illinois

Living Deliberately in the 21st Century

Justin McDaniel

Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Penn

Mindfulness. Intentionality. Living deliberately. The past decade has seen Americans embrace contemplative approaches long practiced by Buddhists. Penn professor Justin McDaniel, a leading scholar of Buddhism, explores how past and present converge in these ancient spiritual practices. Director of the Thai Digital Monastery Project, he digitally makes these sacred spaces accessible to the world and trains monks to become their cultural caretakers. Event and ticket information.


Justin McDaniel is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching focus on Lao, Thai, Pali, and Sanskrit literature, as well as Southeast Asian and Japanese Buddhism.

A highly regarded scholar in his field, McDaniel won the Harry Benda Prize in South East Asian Studies for his first book, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words: Histories of Buddhist Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand (2008), and the Kahin Prize for distinguished scholarly works on Southeast Asia for his second book, The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magic Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand (2014).

He is also the architect behind the online Thai Digital Monastery Project, where he is creating a monastic digital library for Thailand. In 2012 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow and in 2014 a Fellow of Kyoto University's Centre for Southeast Asian Studies. He has also received Penn’s Ludwig Prize for Teaching.

McDaniel took his PhD in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard after completing a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School.

Chicago Humanities Festival