David McMahan, PhD is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the editor of Buddhism in the Modern World (Routledge 2012) and author of The Making of Buddhist Modernism (Oxford, 2008), Empty Vision: Metaphor and Visionary Imagery in Mahāyāna Buddhism (Routledge Curzon, 2002), and a number of articles on Mahāyāna Buddhism in South Asia and Buddhism in the modern world. He has written on Indian Buddhist literature, visual metaphors and practice, and the early history of the Mahāyāna movement in India. More recently, his work has focused on the interface of Buddhism and modernity, including its interactions with science, psychology, modernist literature, romanticism, and transcendentalism. He is currently researching the various ways that Buddhist and Buddhist-derived meditation is understood and practiced in different cultural and historical contexts, ancient and modern.

This profile was last updated on June 1, 2012

Mind & Life Connections


2016 Summer Research Institute Session

Interdisciplinary Panel & Small Groups

Panel: Andreas Roepstorff, Catherine Kerr, Laurence J. Kirmayer, David McMahan, Martijn van Beek, Carol Worthman

Topics: Interconnection | Self & Other


Mind & Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship

Meditation in Context

David McMahan

Topics: Contemplative Wisdom | Mindfulness