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Portrait Picture of Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison, Department Chair

George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies
Department Chair

Paul Harrison, Department Chair

Paul Harrison is the George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies. Educated in his native New Zealand and in Australia, he specializes in Buddhist literature and history, especially that of the Mahāyāna, and in the study of Buddhist manuscripts in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan. He is the author of The Samādhi of Direct Encounter with the Buddhas of the Present, and of numerous journal articles on Buddhist sacred texts and their interpretation. He is also one of the editors of the series “Buddhist Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection.”

Paul’s current projects include editions and translations of a number of Mahāyāna and Mainstream Buddhist sūtras and śāstras, including the Vajracchedikā (Diamond Sutra) and the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa, as well as a general study of issues of authority, textual transmission and innovation in Mahayana Buddhism.

Paul serves as Co-Director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford and he is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.