Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130
William (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Professor Emeritus of two departments, Religious Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. He was trained in the philological methods of Buddhist studies, which was the basis for his translation and study of the prominent 9th century Chan (Zen) monk, Dong shan. His more recent work focused on the relationship between Chinese Buddhism, pilgrimage and sacred space, particularly mountains.
His emphasis on modes of spatial perception rooted in religious understandings and the role of those modes of perception in economic, social, and ecological systems has led to an involvement in digital simulations of sacred geography and topography, both as a means of scholarly analysis and as a pedagogic device for teaching about the relatively complex notions that emerge from such analysis at the undergraduate level.
He was an active in an international consortium of scholars engaged in the production of digital archives of spatial and religious data, and was on the board of The New Media Studio, a non-profit foundation created to assist in the production and distribution of digital multi-media instructional material on earth science.