William Chu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

University of California, Los Angeles. Ph.D., in Buddhist Studies, 2006

I was born in Taiwan and developed a keen interest in Buddhism since childhood. When I was in high school, I found myself in a uniquely fortunate situation where generous benefactors provided me with the means to create the first Buddhist library on the West Coast. I therefore had the opportunity, at that tender age, to steep in the studying of the Tripitaka and Buddhist publications from around the world. Having been an avid practitioner and student of various forms of Buddhist meditation, I have been interested since college in using academic study to help clarify practical and doctrinal issues pertaining to Buddhism. I’d like to think that such a history helped inform the way I teach my classes, which are designed with the practitioner’s interest and concerns in mind. I started out my academic career focusing on Chinese Mahayana and Republican Period Buddhism, but have since diverted attention to early Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, and Buddhist theology.

Selected publications:

Co-author of The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014)

“The Construction of Yogācāra Orthodoxy in the Early Republican Period” (submitted to Journal of International Association of Buddhist Studies, May, 2012)

“Syncretism Reconsidered: Syncretistic Styles of the Four Eminent Monks in the Ming.” (Journal of International Association of Buddhist Studies, 29/1, 2006, 63-86)

“Bodhisattva Precepts in the Ming Society: Factors behind its Success and Propagation.” (Journal of Buddhist Ethics, vol. 13, 2006)

Contributor to Marcus Bingenheimer, Bhikkhu Analayo and Roderick S. Bucknell eds. The Madhyamāgama: Middle Length Discourses, vol. i (translated Division 3) Vaggas 3, 8, 12, 16, and 17), Berkeley, California: BDK America, INC., 2013

Course(s) taught:
Buddhist Texts in Translation: Meditation, (created in Fall, 2017)

Teaching Assistant Practicum (created in Spring, 2018)

Buddhist Texts in Translation: Early Buddhism, (Fall, 2016)

Proseminar to Religious Studies (created in Spring, 2017)

Buddhist Texts in Translation: Early Buddhism, (created in Fall, 2016)

Seminar on Buddhist Theology, (created in Fall, 2014)

Seminar on East Asian Buddhism, (created in Fall, 2012)

Buddhist Meditation Practicum, (created in Spring, 2012)

Buddhist Psychology/Developments in Buddhist Psychology, (created in Fall, 2008)

Seminar on Chinese Buddhist Texts, (created in Spring, 2010)

Seminar on Buddhist Meditation, (created in Spring, 2009)

Developments in Buddhist Thought (created in Fall, 2010)

Religions of the East/Graduate Teacher Training, (created in Fall, 2009)

Beginning Canonical Chinese I, (created in Fall, 2008)

Beginning Canonical Chinese II, (created in Winter, 2008)

Intermediate Canonical Chinese, (created in Fall, 2009)

Advanced Canonical Chinese, (created in Spring, 2010)

Introduction to Buddhism, University of California, Los Angeles (created in Spring, 2008)

Buddhism-Writing Intensive, University of California, Los Angeles. (created in Fall, 2007)

The Chinese Āgamas, Fakuang Seminary, Downey, California. (created in 2006)

Contact info (email): williamc@uwest.edu

Recent learning experience (1-2 sentences): I am intrigued by the simple elegance of the soteric paradigm and meditation styles found in the so-called “early of the earlies” Buddhist texts, such as the Atthakavagga and the Parayamavagga.