Douglas Osto

Programme Coordinator, Asian Studies Senior Lecturer, Philosophy Programme
Massey University, NEW ZEALAND


Academic Qualifications:

2004 PhD in the Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Dissertation: “The Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra: a study of wealth, gender and power in an Indian Buddhist narrative.”

1999 MA in Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington

Thesis: “A Study and Translation of the Samantabhadracaryapranidhanam (prose) of the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra.”

1995 Master of Theological Studies (MTS), Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

1991 BA (Honors) in Religious Studies, Grinnell College

Area of Specialisation:
Mahayana Buddhism, South Asian Buddhism, Indian Philosophy, and contemporary Buddhist practice.

Current Research:
Currently Doug is writing a book on the contemporary revival of Nondual Kashmir Shaivism.

Selected Academic Publications:

Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in America, New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Power, Wealth and Women in Indian Mahayana Buddhism: The Gandavyuha-sutra, London: Routledge, 2008.


Articles & Book Chapters

  • “Altered States and the Origins of the Mahāyāna,” in  Setting Out on the Great Way: Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism, edited by Paul Harrison (Sheffield: Equinox, 2018), pp. 177-205.
  • “No-Self in Sāṃkhya: A Comparative Look at Classical Sāṃkhya and Theravāda Buddhism,” Philosophy East and West  68.1 (January 2018): 201-222.
  • “Merit” in The Buddhist World, edited by John Powers (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 351-366.
  • “Orality, Authority and Conservatism in the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras,” in Dialogue in Early South Asian Religions, edited by Laurie Patton and Brian Black (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 115-135.
  • “A New Translation of the Bhadracarī with Introduction and Notes,” New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 12.2 (December 2010): 1–23.
  • “The Supreme Array Scripture: A new interpretation of the title ‘Gandavyūha-sūtra’,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 37.3 (June 2009): 273–290.
  • “‘Proto-Tantric’ Elements in the Gandavyūha-sūtra Sūtra,”Journal of Religious History 33.2 (June 2009): 165–177.
  • “Soteriology, Asceticism and the Female Body in Two Indian Buddhist Narratives,” Buddhist Studies Review 23.2 (2006): 203–220.

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