International Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Jason Clower, PhD


I teach about religion, society, and literature in in Asia, especially East Asia. I have offered courses on Asian literature, religion and film, Chinese religion, and more specialized seminars entitled “Communism as a Religion,” "Buddhist Philosophy: The Most Loved (and Feared) Texts," "Deep Background to Modern Chinese State-Society relations," and "Buddhist-Confucian Relations."

Most of my writings have to do with Mou Zongsan, the most influential (and in my opinion the best) modern Chinese philosopher. I have written one book about him, called The Unlikely Buddhologist, about how he borrowed many elements of his Confucian philosophy from Buddhism, and I have translated and edited another volume called Late Works of Mou Zongsan: Essays in Chinese Philosophy.

I am also researching two other topics. One is what I call the “Asian-inspired spirituality” scene in the New Age movement in California. My other subject is what one documentary called “the lost world of Communism”—its art and material culture, its pieties, its intellectual and institutional life, and the shared remnants of Stalinist heritage that can still be found from Pyongyang to Prague.

Portrait of Jason Clower, PhD