I teach about religion and society in Asia, particularly in East Asia with a specialization in China. Here at Chico State I teach classes on Asian religions, Buddhism, Chinese religions, and the humanities in India, China, and Japan. Elsewhere I have offered courses entitled "Buddhist Philosophy: The Most Loved (and Feared) Texts," "Deep Background to Modern Chinese State-Society relations," "Buddhism in China," and "Buddhist-Confucian Relations."
As a researcher, I can trace all of my interests and projects to a broader interest in debates on the relationship between the polity and "the good life." So why China? Because over the last 150 years, no one has argued more widely and experimented more creatively than Chinese intellectuals and leaders to create good society. Who else has tried to revive tantric Buddhism as a weapon of national defense?!
My current research focuses on Buddhist-Confucian relations in modern China. I have long been intrigued by the modern generations of culturally traditionalist, more or less Confucian-minded Chinese public intellectuals who have raided the Buddhists' pantry for ideas with which to stock their own moral and political philosophies. I am currently writing a book called The Unlikely Buddhologist about Mou Zongsan, the towering figure of modern Chinese philosophy, who decided somewhat mysteriously to try to revitalize Confucianism and Chinese civilization with ideas borrowed, of all places, from largely-forgotten Tiantai Buddhist thought.