Tea and Other Decoctions for “Nourishing Life” in Medieval China (Tue, 23 Oct 2012)
James A. Benn (PhD, UCLA 2001) is Associate Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. He studies Buddhism and Taoism in medieval China. To date, he has focused on three major areas of research: bodily practice in Chinese Religions; the ways in which people create and transmit new religious practices and doctrines; and the religious dimensions of commodity culture. He has published on self-immolation, spontaneous human combustion, Buddhist apocryphal scriptures, and tea and alcohol in medieval China. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007) and is currently completing a second book, Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History.