Professional and Biographical Information

Scholarly Interests

I am interested in the intellectual, philosophical, religious, and literary history of ancient India and I teach courses in these areas, with a particular emphasis on Buddhism. I work in two classical Indian languages, Sanskrit and Pali. My current projects are focused on emotions in classical Indian thought across many genres, and I am translating the Milindapanha for the Murty Classical Library of India. I have also worked a great deal on the 5th century Theravada thinker Buddhaghosa.


Harvard University — Ph.D. in Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, 1999

Reed College — B.A. in Interdisciplinary Philosophy and Religion, 1991

Awards, Fellowships, and Distinctions

  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2005-2006
  • American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad, 2000
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Religion and Ethics 1997-98
  • Fulbright Student Grant (IIE), Study in India, 1996-97

Selected Publications


The Questions of Milinda (Milindapanha), translated by Maria Heim. Harvard University Press, Murty Classical Library of India, forthcoming. 

How to Lose Yourself: An Ancient Guide to Letting Go, translated by Jay Garfield, Maria Heim, and Robert Sharf. Princeton University Press, forthcoming. On this series, see:

Words for the Heart: A Treasury of Emotions from Classical India. Princeton University Press, 2022.



The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Emotions in Classical Indian Philosophy, edited by Maria Heim, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, and Roy Tzohar. London: Bloomsbury, 2021. 

The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Emotions in Classical Indian Philosophy cover


Buddhist Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Elements in Philosophy Series, 2020. 

Buddhist Ethics


Voice of the Buddha: Buddhaghosa on the Immeasurable Words. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018 



The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 



Theories of the Gift in South Asia: Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Reflections on Dāna. New York: Routledge, 2004. 

Theories of the Gift in South Asia: Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Reflections on Dana book cover


Peer Reviewed Articles (some of these are available below)

"Emotions in Ancient and Classical India from 500 BCE to 1200 CE," in Emotion Theory: The Comprehensive Routledge Guide, edited by Andrea Scarantino, forthcoming. 

"Occasions both Worldly and Transcendent: Sacred Trees in Buddha's India." In Countless Sands: Medieval Buddhists and their Environments, edited by Jason Protass and Jeffrey Moser. University of Hawai'i Press, forthcoming.

"Buddhist Philosophy of Emotion (and a Close Look at Regret and Remorse)." Journal of Buddhist Philosophy, 2024, Vol. 5, 1-25.

"Sorrow and its Ending in the Buddha's Last Days." In Buddha Blueprint: A Storied Life, edited by Vanessa Sasson and Kristin Scheible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2024: 177-196.

"The Workings of Contempt in Classical Indian Texts." Emotion Review. Volume 15Issue 3July 2023: 216-223.

"The Dhammasaṅganī and Vibhaṅga: The Perfectly-Awakened Buddha and the First Abhidhammikas," in the Routledge Handbook of Indian Buddhist Philosophy, edited by William Edelglass, Pierre-Julien Harter, and Sara McClintock. Routledge, 2022, 143-159.

"Taking Refuge in Jewels," in Jewels, Jewelry, and Other Shiny Things in the Buddhist Imaginary, edited by Vanessa Sasson. Honolulu: University of Hawa'ii Press, 2021. 

“Some Analyses of Feeling,” in The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Emotions in Classical Indian Philosophy, edited by Maria Heim, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, and Roy Tzohar, 2021: 87-105.

“Careful Attention and the Voice of Another.” In Dialogue with Classical Indian Traditions: Encounter, Transformation, Interpretation. Edited by Brian Black and Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad. New York: Routledge, 2019, 181-96.

“In a Double Way: Nāma-rūpa in Buddhaghosa’s Phenomenology,” co-authored with Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad. Philosophy East and West, 2018 68.4: 1085-1115.

“The ‘Fecundity of Dialogue’ and the Philosophy of ‘Incompletion’.” Buddhist Spiritual Practices: Thinking with Pierre Hadot on Buddhism, Philosophy, and the Path, edited by David Fiordalis. Berkeley: Mangalam Press, 2018: 181-214.

“Emotions.” The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Law, edited by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017: 419-431.

“Visuddhimagga/Buddhaghosa.” Oxford Bibliographies for Buddhism, ed. Richard Payne, et. al. Oxford, 2017.

“Buddhaghosa on the Phenomenology of Love and Compassion.” The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy, edited by Jonardon Ganeri. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017: 171-189.

“She Who Heard Much: Notes on Receiving, Interpreting, and Transmitting Buddhavacana.” International Journal of Hindu Studies, 2015.

“Recent Work in Moral Anthropology,” co-authored with Anne Monius. Journal of Religious Ethics 2014, 42.2: 385-92.

“Mind in Theravāda Buddhism.” Blackwell Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, ed. Steven Emmanuel (Wiley Blackwell, 2013): 377-94.

“Shame and Apprehension: Notes on the Moral Value of Hiri and Ottappa." Embedded Languages: Studies in the Religion, Culture, and History of Sri Lanka, edited by Carol S. Anderson, Susanne Mrozik, W. M. Wijeratna, and R. M. W. Rajapaksha. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Godage Books (2012): 237-260.

“Buddhist Ethics: A Review Essay.” Journal of Religious Ethics (2011): 39.3: 571-584.

“The Nature of the Beast: Hatred in Comparative Religious and Philosophical Perspective.” Co-authored with Diana Cates, Keith Green, and Joel Gereboff. Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics. (2009): 29, 2:175.

“The Conceit of Self-Loathing.” Journal of Indian Philosophy (2009): 37:61-74.

“Buddhism.” The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion, ed. John Corrigan. Oxford University Press. Oxford (2007): 17-34.

“Dāna as a Moral Category.” Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges, ed. by Purushottama Bilimoria, Ashgate (2007): 191-209.

“Toward a ‘Wider and Juster Initiative’: Recent Comparative Work in Buddhist Ethics.” Religion Compass, Blackwell (2006): vol. I, 1-13.

“Differentiations in Indian/Hindu Ethics.” The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, ed. William Schweiker. Malden, MA: Blackwell, (2005): 341-354.

“The Aesthetics of Excess." Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 71.3 (2003): 531-554.

“The Ethics of Esteem.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 7 (2000): 26-42.

“Saving Them From Yourself: An Inquiry into the South Asian Gift of Fearlessness.” Journal of Religious Ethics, Fall (1999): 437-462.

“The Author Replies” (a rejoinder to Ariel Glucklich). Journal of Religious Ethics, Fall (1999): 471-475.

Current Scholarly and Professional Activities

Journal of Religious Ethics, Associate Editor




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