Harold D. Roth is Professor of Religious Studies and the Director of the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University.

Roth is a specialist in Classical Chinese Religious Thought, Classical Daoism, the comparative study of contemplative practices and experiences and a pioneer of the academic field of Contemplative Studies. Roth is the founder and director of Brown’s unique “Contemplative Studies Initiative” and was the co-founder and co-director of the Warren Alpert Medical School’s Scholarly Concentration in Contemplative Studies; he is the person who coined the term “Contemplative Studies”.

Roth’s publications include six books and more than 50 articles and book chapters on the history and religious thought of the Daoist tradition, on the textual history and textual criticism of classical Chinese works, and on the pedagogy and the academic discipline of Contemplative Studies.

Roth has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation For International Scholarly Exchange. He also was awarded a Wriston Fellowship for Teaching Excellence from Brown University. He has been a member of the initial Steering Committees for two groups within the American Academy of Religion, the Daoist Studies Section and the Contemplative Studies Group. He has served on the program planning committees for several Mind & Life Institute events.

As an innovator in the field of Contemplative Studies, Roth has developed courses that combine traditional third-person study with critical first-person approaches. He is currently working on a book manuscript detailing the theory and practice of “Integrative Contemplative Pedagogy.”

This profile was last updated on January 1, 2017

Mind & Life Connections


2018 International Symposium for Contemplative Research Session

Master Lectures: Contemplative Studies Panel: Contemplating the Future of “Contemplative Studies”

Moderators: Erin McCarthy
Panel: Amishi Jha, Harold Roth, Ed Sarath, Erin McCarthy

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Contemplative Wisdom | Education | Self & Other


Think Tanks

Establishing Contemplative Studies Programs: Practices, Priorities and Problems

Harold Roth, Anne Klein, Carolyn Jacobs, Mirabai Bush, John Dunne, Judith Simmer-Brown, David Germano

Topics: Education

Mind & Life Videos

ISCS 2016 – Master Lecture – Harold Roth

Mind and Life Institute • November 11, 2016

Topics: Body-based Practices | Contemplative Wisdom | Education

2016 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Opening Keynote: Opening Welcome and Meditation

Amishi Jha, Sharon Salzberg, Harold Roth

Topics: Body-based Practices | Contemplative Wisdom


Mind & Life Videos

ISCS 2014 – Master Lecture – Harold Roth

Mind and Life Institute • November 1, 2014

Topics: Contemplative Wisdom | Self & Other

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Master Lecture – Science, Daoism, and Scholarly Subjectivity

Harold Roth

Topics: Contemplative Wisdom | Self & Other

Audio AvailableVideo Available

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Concurrent Session 1 – Philosophical Foundations for Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education: New Research in the Field

Susan Burggraf, Barry Kroll, Erin McCarthy, Harold Roth, Judith Simmer-Brown

Topics: Education | Mindfulness