Publication Details

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Early Indian and Theravada Buddhism: Soteriological Controversy and Diversity

Author: Bradley Clough

Additional Authors:

Publisher: Cambria Press

Date: 12/04/2017

Image of Bradley Clough

Bradley Clough

Phone: 406-243-2837


Office: LA 158

Office Hours:

TR 3:45-6

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Associate Professor of Global Humanities & Religions


Dr. Clough teaches a series of introductory-level courses on religions originating from South Asia/the sub-continent of India, like Buddhism and Hinduism, on religious traditions in certain other regions of Asia, such as China, Japan, and the greater Tibetan-Himalayan region, and on great literary classics from all parts of this largest and most populous continent. He also offers upper division courses on special topics in South and East Asian religions. 

Personal Summary

Brad Clough has taught about religion for close to 30 years, and writes about the history of doctrines and practices of Buddhism in South Asia, with special focuses in early Indian Buddhism and the ongoing Theravada Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka.  He has written extensively on a variety of subjects in this history, including on Buddhist soteriologies (means of spiritual liberation), meditation systems, and monastic practice. He has also published on the religious life of Gandhi and interactions between Buddhism and Hinduism, and has contributed to many volumes devoted to understanding the religions of the world in comparative context.  Dr. Clough has contributed to journals such as The Journal of Asian Studies, History of Religions, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and Journal of Vaishnava Studies.


Brad Clough began studying religion as an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University (cum laude with honors). He pursued his graduate studies at Columbia University, where he received an M.A. in Religious Studies, an M.Phil in South Asian Religions, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies.

Research Interests

Monasticism and soteriology (theories & pratices pertaining to the quest for spiritual freedom) in the history of Buddhism in South Asia.


Dr. Clough is currently working on two projects:

1) A long-term study and translation of Buddhist  "morality tales" from the country of Sri Lanka.

2) a shorter-term biography of the Buddha's two leading disciples, Shariputra And Maudgalyayana.

Selected Publications


Early Indian and Theravāda Buddhism: Soteriological Controversy and Diversity (Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2012).


Humanist Perspectives on Sacred Space*                                                    

Cairo Papers in the Social Sciences series, Vol. 31, No. 1

(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2011)

*co-editor of this volume with Dr. David Blanks



“Paths of Monastic Practice: Responses to L.S. Cousins’s Work on Scholars and Meditators.” Naomi Appleton and Peter Harvey, eds., Essays in Honor of

Lance Cousins  (forthcoming: in Fall 2018 as a special issue of the Buddhist Studies Review, and in Spring 2019 as a book from Equinox Publishing).


“Buddha as Avatāra in Vaishnava Theology: Historical and Interpretive Issues.”

Journal of Vaishnava Studies (Vol. 26, No. 1/Fall 2017).


“Monastic Matters: The Robes, Bowl, and the Middle Way,” Corrine Dempsey and

Tracy Pintchman, eds., Sacred Matters: Material Religion in South Asian Traditions (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015).


“The Life of Mahasi Sayadaw,” Todd Lewis, ed., Buddhists: Understanding Buddhism Through the Lives of Practitioners (London:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).


“The Cultivation of Yogic Powers in the Pali Path Manuals of Theravada Buddhism,”

in Knut Jacobsen, ed., Yogic Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration (Leiden: E.J. Brill Publishers, 2011).


“The Higher Knowledges in the Pali Nikayas and Vinaya,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1-2 (2011).


“Introduction” to Humanist Perspectives on Sacred Space, with Dr. David Blanks.

Cairo Papers in the Social Sciences series, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Cairo: American University

in Cairo Press, 2011).


Communitas  or Contestation?: Buddhist-Hindu Practices and Interactions at

‘The Holiest Place in Sri Lanka’,” in Humanist Perspectives on Sacred Space*,

 in Vol. 31, No. 1 of Cairo Papers in the Social Sciences  (Cairo: American University

in Cairo Press, 2011).

*co-editor of this volume with Dr. David Blanks


“Buddhist Intolerance: The Case of Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism,” Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner, eds., Tolerance and Intolerance in the World’s Religions (West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press, 2008).


“Altruism in Contemporary Buddhism: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Socially Engaged Buddhism,” in Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner,eds., Altruism in the World’s Religions  (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2005).


“Gandhi the Rama-bhakta,”  Journal of Vaishnava Studies  (Vol. 12, Number 2, Spring 2004).


Entries on the Buddhist figures Maha-Moggallana, Buddhaghosa, Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, and Mahasi Sayadaw for the Encyclopedia of Holy Persons  (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO Publications, 2004).


“Gandhi, Non-violence, and the Bhagavad-Gita, In Steven J. Rosen, ed., Holy War: Violence and the Bhagavad-Gita (Hampton, VA: Deepak Heritage Books, 2002).


“Family Life in Buddhism.” In Jacob Neusner. ed., Comparing Religious Traditions: Ethics of Family Life  (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2001).       


“For the Benefit of All: The Contemporary Reinterpretation and Reintegration of Early Buddhist Principles of Social Economics.” In Bruce D. Chilton and Jacob Neusner, eds., Religion and Economics: New Perspectives (Binghampton: Global Publications, State University of New York at Binghampton, 2000).


“Evil and Suffering in Buddhism,” in the Bard Journal of Social Sciences  (Volume 7,

Number 5, Spring 2000).


“The Historical King Ashoka/Priyadarshi,” in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Stagebill, for the drama, “Uttar-Priyadarshi” (October 2000, p. 31. [Longer five-page version available at].


“Buddhism,” in Sacred Texts and Authority, edited by Jacob Neusner, in Pilgrim Library of World Religions, Volume 2. (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1998).


Entries on “Disciples” and “Salvation” for the Encyclopedia of Women and Religion,

edited by Serenity Young (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1998).


“Buddhism,” in God, edited by Jacob Neusner, in Pilgrim Library of World              Religions, Volume 2. (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press,1997), pp. 56-84.


“Literary Sources of Buddhism,” pp. xxiii-xxviii in both Pilgrim Library of  World

Religions volumes (1997 & 1998).

Teaching Experience

Bard College: 1994-2003
The American University in Cairo: 2003-2008
The University of Montana: 2008-present

International Experience

Dr. Clough has conducted extensive research in India and Sri Lanka, and has twice led study-abroad programs in India.


Board of Directors, South Asia Studies Association (2013-present)

Steering Committee, Yoga Theory and Practice Group, American        

Academy of Religion (2012-present)

Board of Directors, American Institute of Sri Lanka Studies (2003-2007)

Steering Committee, Comparative Religion Group, American                    

Academy of Religion (2003-2008)

Board Chairperson, New York Independent College Consortium for Study in

India (1998-1999)

Board Member, New York Independent College Consortium for Study in

India (1996-2003)

Chair, Columbia University Seminar on Asian Thought and Religion (1995-1997)