Professor Dan Kent

Assistant Professor of Religion

Olin Hall 148
(509) 527-5247


My research deals with problems in contemporary Buddhist Ethics with a special focus on Sri Lanka and South East Asia. My current book project is on moral imagination and moral breakdown among Buddhist monks and soldiers during Sri Lanka’s twenty-five-year-long civil war that ended in 2008.  I approach this work through the methodological lenses of the anthropology of morality, Buddhist studies, comparative religious ethics and the history of religions.  My research is both ethnographic and hermeneutic as I put contemporary Buddhists in conversation with Buddhist canonical and post-canonical literature to discover both continuities and disruptions of normative expressions of doctrine.  I am particularly interested in issues of globalization and the formation of new networks of communication between Buddhists around the world.

TLDR: I like to talk to Buddhists, compare what they say to texts, and then write clever things about what it means to be a Buddhist in the 21st century.

Teaching Areas

Courses on Buddhism, South Asian Religions, Comparative Ethics, Meditation, Religion and Violence and Monasticism.

Upcoming Courses

Fall 2016
Rel208/Phil211 Buddhist Ethics

Spring 2017
Rel213 Buddhist Monasticism
Rel314 Religion, Violence and War

Fall 2017
Rel 203 What is Religion?

Spring 2018
Yoga and Meditation