Dr Paul Fuller

Teaching Fellow in Buddhist Studies

  • School of Divinity

Contact details



New College
Mound Place

Post code


I joined the University of Edinburgh as a Teaching Fellow in Buddhist Studies in 2021 having studied at New College as an undergraduate in Religious Studies.

I hold an MA and PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Bristol. I have lectured in Buddhist Studies, Asian Studies and Religious Studies at universities in Asia, Australia and the UK.  My main research interests are in early Buddhist philosophy,  and modern Buddhism, particularly engaged Buddhism. 





PhD (University of Bristol, 2003)

MA (University of Bristol, 1998)

MA (First Class Hons) (University of Edinburgh, 1995)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the U.K. Association for Buddhist Studies, British Association for the Study of Religions, and the American Academy of Religion.

Undergraduate teaching

Understanding Buddhism

Religions of Ancient In

Buddhism in Global Contexts

Buddhist Ethics

Lives of the Buddha: Jātaka Stories and Early Buddhism

Buddhist Literature

Religion and Nationalism in the Contemporary World

Hindu Traditions: History, Power and Agency

Contribute to: Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding

Postgraduate teaching

Lives of the Buddha in Indian Art and Literature

Buddhist Literature

Religion and Nationalism: Theory and Performance

Hindu Traditions: Critical Investigations

Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

Contribute to: Literature and Religion: Exploring the Connections

Research summary

I have two main areas of research. My PhD at the University of Bristol was a study of 'views' (diṭṭhi) in the Pāli canon. It was published as The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism: The Point of View (Routledge, 2004). This explored the textual basis of discrimination and attachment in early Buddhism. 

My early research prompted questions about how belief and attachment are factors in modern forms of Buddhism. Therefore I have interests in engaged Buddhism, the prevalence of blasphemy in Buddhist culture, and political and chauvinistic expressions of Buddhism.

My recent research and publications attempt to understand how modern Buddhist movements are anticipated in the earlier textual tradition. It explores possible interpretations of Buddhist identity based on ethnicity and nationalism. My new book, An Introduction to Engaged Buddhism was published by Bloomsbury in 2021. It looks at contemporary issues in Buddhism including, politics, sexuality, gender, eco-engaged Buddhism and ethnocentric Buddhism.