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David V. Fiordalis

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David V. Fiordalis
Associate Professor and Department Chair; OCE Global Studies Co-Coordinator


Pioneer Hall 209A

503-883-2569

dfiordal@linfield.edu

David Fiordalis teaches courses in religious studies, environmental studies and philosophy, often bringing his background knowledge of the religions of Asia, especially Buddhism and Hinduism, to the study of religious beliefs, practices, stories, values and institutions. His research mainly explores the classical Buddhist literature of South Asia and the Himalayan region.

He also serves as co-editor of the Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies.

Education

  • B.A., Asian Studies, Magna Cum Laude, Carleton College
  • A.M., Divinity, University of Chicago Divinity School
  • M.A., Ph.D., Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

Academic interests:

My scholarly work explores the cultures, literature and history of religion in Asia. My primary research focus is Buddhism in South Asia and the Himalayan region; though I have experience with other Asian languages, I mainly work with materials in Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan, three of the principal languages in which traditional Buddhist literature has been preserved.

Given the extent to which Asian religious traditions developed in conversation with one another, my work necessarily engages a broader historical and cultural context, including other religious traditions of South Asia (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and so on), as well as those of both East Asia and Southeast Asia (Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto and so forth).

Although primarily a textual scholar, I actively seek ways to offer a multidisciplinary perspective on religion, employing materials drawn from both contemporary and ancient times, ethnography and archeology, art history and new media, institutional and intellectual history, comparative literature, philosophy and critical theory.

At present, I am weaving some of these various interests into a book on Buddhist miracle traditions.

Publications:

Articles and book chapters:

Buddhas and Body Language: The Literary Trope of the Buddha’s Smile.” In Natalie Gummer, ed., The Language of the Sūtras: Essays in Honor of Luis Gómez, 59-103. Berkeley, CA: Mangalam Press, 2021.

“Los budas y el lenguaje corporal: el tropo literario de la sonrisa del buda.” Marianela Santoveña Rodríguez, trans. In Adrián Muñoz and Roberto E. García, eds. La sonrisa del Buda: estudios sobre budismo. Ensayos en homenaje a Luis O. Gómez, 97-146. México City, MX: El Colegio de México Centro de Estudios de Asia y África, 2021.

The Buddha’s Great Miracle, a Flowering Sprig from Kṣemendra's Wish-Fulfilling Vine of Tales of the Bodhisattva (Bodhisattvāvadānakalpalatā):” English Translation with Editions of the Sanskrit Text and Tibetan Translation,” Korea Journal of Buddhist Studies 67 (June 2021): 45-121.

The Blind Arhat and the Old Baby: Liberation by Wisdom, the Dry-Insight Practitioner, and the Pairing of Calm and Insight.” In Bertram Dscho and Zhen Liu, eds., Śamatha-vipaśyanā in the Context of Indo-sinitic Buddhism: Statics and Dynamics,” Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies 20 (2019): 21-60.

The Avadānaśataka and the Kalpadrumāvadānamālā: What should we be doing now?Critical Review for Buddhist Studies 25 (April 2019): 47-77.

Introduction.” In David V. Fiordalis, ed., Buddhist Spiritual Practices: Thinking with Pierre Hadot on Buddhism, Philosophy, and the Path, 1-19. Berkeley, CA: Mangalam Press, 2018.

Learning, Reasoning, Cultivating: The Practice of Wisdom and the Treasury of Abhidharma.” In David V. Fiordalis, ed., Buddhist Spiritual Practices: Thinking with Pierre Hadot on Buddhism, Philosophy, and the Path, 245-289. Berkeley, CA: Mangalam Press, 2018.

“Medical Practice as Wrong Livelihood: Selections from the Pāli Discourses, Vinaya, and Commentaries.” In C. Pierce Salguero, ed., Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Premodern Sources, 105-112. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

“Stories of Healing from the Section on Medicines in the Pāli Vinaya.” In C. Pierce Salguero, ed., Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology of Premodern Sources, 118-124. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

Avadāna.” In Richard Payne, ed., Oxford Bibliographies: Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

On Buddhism, Divination and the Worldly Arts: Textual Evidence from the Theravāda Tradition,” Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies 15 (2014): 79-108.

The Buddha's Great Miracle at Śrāvastī: A Translation from the Tibetan Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya,” Asian Literature and Translation 2.3 (2014): 1-33.

Buddhist Miracles.” In Richard Payne, ed., Oxford Bibliographies: Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Abhijñā/ṛddhi (Extraordinary Knowledge and Powers).” In Richard Payne, ed., Oxford Bibliographies: Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

“The Wondrous Display of Superhuman Power in the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa: Miracle or Marvel?” In Knut Axel Jacobsen, ed.,Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration (Leiden: Brill Publications, 2012), 96-125.

Miracles in Indian Buddhist narratives and doctrine,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 33, Nos. 1-2 (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2010 [Published in 2011]): 381-408.

Edited works:

Buddhist Spiritual Practices: Thinking with Pierre Hadot on Buddhism, Philosophy, and the Path. Berkeley, CA: Mangalam Press, 2018.

Guest editor, “Miracles and Superhuman Powers in South and Southeast Asian Buddhist Traditions.” The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 33, Nos. 1-2 (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2010 [Published in 2011]): 381-555.

Selected Honors and Fellowships: 

NEH Summer Seminar Fellowship (2013)

Margaret Ramsdell Fellowship (2006)

Fulbright Fellowship to India (1998)

Phi Beta Kappa (1998)