James Benn
Benn, James

James Benn is Professor of Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. He was trained primarily as a scholar of medieval Chinese religions (Buddhism and Taoism). His research is aimed at understanding the practices and world views of medieval men and women, both religious and lay, through the close reading of primary sources in literary Chinese—the lingua franca of East Asian religions. He has concentrated 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. In particular, he has worked on self-immolation, Chinese Buddhist apocrypha, and the religious and cultural history of tea.