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James Egge

Department Head and Professor

 James Egge 701 Pray-Harrold



Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., University of Chicago
B.A., University of Virginia

Professional Associations/Memberships

Representative Courses Taught

RLST 100 The Comparative Study of Religion
RLST / HIST 306 Hinduism
RLST / HIST 307 Buddhism


Interests and Expertise

Professor Egge is a historian of religion whose research focuses on the Pali literature of Theravada Buddhism. He has written on Theravada conceptions of karma, the body, and the role of visual perception in religious devotion. He is also interested in theories and methods for the study of religion, and has written on the use of conceptual metaphor theory as a method for the comparative study of religion.

Selected Publications

"Merit Transfer," in Oxford Bibliographies in Buddhism,

"Theorizing Embodiment: Conceptual Metaphor Theory and the Comparative Study of Religion," in Figuring Religions: Comparing Ideas, Images, and Activities, ed. Shubha Pathak (State University of New York Press, 2013).

"Physical Boundaries and Bodily Control in Theravadin Accounts of the Buddha's Awakening and Final Nirvana" (forthcoming).

"Interpretive Strategies for Seeing the Body of the Buddha," in Constituting Communities: Theravada Buddhism and the Religious Cultures of South and Southeast Asia, ed. John Clifford Holt, Jacob N. Kinnard, and Jonathan S. Walters (State University of New York Press, 2003).

Religious Giving and the Invention of Karma in Theravada Buddhism (Routledge Curzon, 2002).