Jason Carbine


Jason CarbineProfessor and Department Chair, Religious Studies
562.907.4200, ext. 4339

Academic History

B.A. Bowdoin College
M.A., PhD University of Chicago

Academic Interests

Burma/Myanmar; Sri Lanka; South West China; Asia; Religion; Buddhism; Ritual Space; Globalization; Environment


Jason A. Carbine's primary area of scholarly expertise is Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, with a research specialization in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and also with an emerging comparative focus on Southwest China. He has conducted field research in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, with an emphasis on ritual and practice, and has also traveled (sometimes leading study abroad programs and trips) in various parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China. Overall, his teaching and research in the study of Theravāda Buddhism, other forms of Buddhism, and other Asian religions combines historical and ethnographic methodologies, and draws from an interdisciplinary body of research pertaining to the history of religions, textual studies, anthropology, comparative religious ethics, and most recently, environmental studies and ethics. He teaches a range of courses dealing with Asian religions from India to Japan, method and theory in the study of religion, South and Southeast Asian religion and society, globalization, and the environment.

Professional Activity

Works in Progress

The Kalyāṇī Inscriptions: Texts and Translations (Pali Text Society, under agreement)

The Myanmar Reader, co-edited with Juliane Schober (Duke University Press, under contract)

Sīmās: Histories, Discourses, Practices, co-edited with Erik Davis (in preparation)

“King Rāmādhipati, Prime Minister U Nu, and the Kalyāṇī Sīmā: Constructing and Overcoming Others” (in the Sīmās collection)


How Theravāda is Theravāda? Exploring Buddhist Identities, co-edited with Peter Skilling, Claudio Cicuzza, and Santi Pakdekham (Silkworm Chiang Mai, 2012)

Sons of the Buddha: Continuities and Ruptures in a Burmese Monastic Tradition (De Gruyter, 2011)

The Life of Buddhism, co-edited with Frank Reynolds (University of California Press, 2000)


“How King Rāmādhipati Handled His Boundary Case: SīmāSāsana, and Buddhist Law,”Buddhism, Law & Society 1 (2016): 105-164

“Buddhist Ordination,” co-authored with Patrick Kellycooper, in Oxford Bibliographies Online (2016)

Sāsanasuddhi / Sīmāsammuti: Comments on a Spatial Basis of the Buddha’s Religion,” inHow Theravāda is Theravāda? (2012)

“Care for Buddhism: Text, Ceremony, and Religious Emotion in a Monk’s Final Journey,” in The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, eds. Jacqueline Stone and Bryan Cuevas (University of Hawaii Press/Kuroda, 2007)

“The Study of Theravāda Buddhism: Thirty Years and Beyond,” co-authored with Frank Reynolds, in Bulletin of the Burma Studies Group 77 (2006):2–9

Shwegyin Sāsana: Continuity, Rupture, and Traditionalism in a Buddhist Tradition,” in Historicizing “Tradition” in the Study of Religion, eds. Steven Engler and Gregory Grieve (De Gruyter, 2005)

“Burmese, Buddhist Literature in,” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, editor-in-chief Robert Buswell (Macmillan, 2003)

“Yaktovil: The Role of the Buddha and Dhamma,” in Life of Buddhism

“Discord and Concord in Buddhist Perspective,” co-authored with Frank Reynolds and Robert Yelle, in Ideas of Concord and Discord in Selected World Religions, ed. Joseph Gittler (JAI Press, 2000)

“Sangha,” in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, ed. William Johnston (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000)

Book Reviews

Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern and Early Modern Southeast Asia, in Journal of Asian Studies (2017)

Saving Buddhism: The Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma, in History of Religions(2017)

Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar, in H-Buddhism (2014)

Spreading the Dhamma, in Journal of Asian Studies (2010)

Popularizing Buddhism, in H-Buddhism (2009)

Cambodian Buddhism, in Journal of Buddhist Ethics (2009)

Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics, in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (2002)

The Feast of the Sorcerer, in Journal of Religion (1998)