Jeff Wilson

Professor, Religious Studies and East Asian Studies

a photo of Jeff Wilson in his graduation robe

Jeff Wilson

Professor, Religious Studies and East Asian Studies

Note: Dr. Wilson has Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor status and may accept doctoral students.


  • PhD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • Master of Arts - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • Bachelor of Arts - Sarah Lawrence College

Undergraduate courses offered:

  • Religions of East Asia (RS 201/EA 205R)
  • Buddhism (RS 204)
  • Japanese Religion (RS 206/EA 206R)
  • Religion in America (RS 219)
  • Sacred Places in North America (RS 222)
  • The Study of Religion (RS 260)
  • Religion and Japanese Film (RS 275/EA 275R)
  • Buddhism in North America (RS 327)
  • Monsters and Magic in Japanese Popular Culture (RS 123R/EASIA 120R)

Graduate courses offered:

  • Religious Diversity in North America (RS 700)
  • Themes in Buddhism in North America (RS 703)
  • History of Religion in North America (RS 705)


  • Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014)

  • Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2012)
  • Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume 3: Comparative Religion (University of California Press, 2015, co-edited with Tomoe Moriya)

Selected articles:

  • “Mindfully Feminine? The Role of Meditation in the Production and Marketing of Gendered Lifestyles.” In Buddhist Feminisms and Femininities, ed. Karma Lekshe Tsomo. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press (2019): 285-302.

  • “Examining Buddhism in Unitarian Universalist Hymnals, 1894-2015.” Yale Journal of Music & Religion 4, no. 2 (2018): 105-119.

  • “‘The New Science of Health and Happiness:’ Investigating Buddhist Engagements with the Scientific Study of Meditation.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 53, no. 1 (2018): 49-66.

  • “Mindfulness on the Move: A Translocative Analysis of Global Mindfulness Flows.” In EastSpirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West, eds. Jorn Borup and Marianne Qvortup Fibiger. Leiden: Brill (2017): 61-79.

  • “‘Mindfulness Makes You a Way Better Lover’: Mindful Sex and the Adaption of Buddhism to New Cultural Desires.” In Meditation, Buddhism, and Science, eds. David McMahan and Erik Braun, 152-171. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017): 152-171.

  • “Selling Mindfulness: Commodity Lineages and the Marketing of Mindful Products.” In Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context, and Social Engagement, ed. Ronald E. Purser, David Forbes, and Adam Burke. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing (2016): 109-119.

  • “Fear, Trembling, and Joy”: Unitarian Universalism and Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S. and Canada, 1973-1984.” Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, vol. 36 (May 2013): 84-111

  • "'All Beings Are Equally Embraced By Amida Buddha:’ Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and Same-Sex Marriage in the United States.” Journal of Global Buddhism, vol. 13 (June 2012): 31-59
  • “‘Which One of You is the Bride?’ Unitarian Universalism and Same-Sex Marriage in North America, 1957-1972.” Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, vol. 35 (Spring 2012): 156-172.
  • “What is Canadian about Canadian Buddhism?” Religion Compass, vol. 5, no. 9 (September 2011): 536-548.
  • “Mapping the American Buddhist Terrain: Paths Taken and Possible Itineraries.” Religion Compass, vol. 3, no. 5 (September 2009): 836-846

Selected professional activities:

  • Founder and Chair, Buddhism in the West Consultation at the American Academy of Religion
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Global Buddhism
  • Advisory Board Member, Oxford Bibliographies Online
  • Chair, Culture and Language Studies

Please visit Jeff Wilson’s website for more information about his teaching and research.

University of Waterloo

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