Judson Murray is a visiting assistant professor of religious studies. His research and publications have focused on the intellectual history of early imperial China, Confucian and Daoist mysticism, Confucian moral education, and agrarianism in East Asian thought. His current research examines Confucian contemplative practices using the methodologies developed in the field of contemplative studies. Murray teaches introductory courses in religious studies, Buddhist studies, and on Chinese religions and Japanese religions, as well as advanced courses on Zen Buddhism, meditation in Asian religions, and human rights in China.

Before arriving at Kenyon, he taught courses on East Asian religions and on comparative philosophy and religions at Wright State University, as well as courses on Chinese intellectual and cultural history at Connecticut College. He also serves as a member of the organizing committee for the Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought.

Areas of Expertise

Chinese religions, early Chinese thought, comparative thought and religions


2007 — Doctor of Philosophy from Brown University

1997 — Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University (Divinity School)

1994 — Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University, summa cum laude

Courses Recently Taught

This course includes brief introductions to four or five major religious traditions, while exploring concepts and categories used in the study of religion, such as sacredness, myth, ritual, religious experience and social dimensions of religion. Traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism and Native American traditions may be presented through important texts and practices. This counts toward the 100-level introduction to religious studies course requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.

Buddhism has been one of the major connective links among the varied cultures of South, Southeast and East Asia for over two millennia, and over the past one hundred years it has established a presence throughout the world. This course surveys the ideas and practices of Buddhism with a focus on Buddhist ideas as they developed in South Asia within the first millennium of Buddhist history. Readings include ancient Buddhist texts, contemporary commentaries and scholarship, and a contemporary memoir. This is an introductory Buddhism tradition course. No prerequisite. Offered every fall.

This course covers the central ideas and practices of Zen Buddhism in China, where it originated and is called Chan; Japan, where it has influenced and been influenced by many aspects of Japanese culture and from where it was exported to the West; and the United States. Readings include primary texts, secondary studies and a memoir. This is an advanced Buddhism traditions course and an advanced East Asian religions course. No prerequisite. Offered every two years.