Scott A. Mitchell

Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai Professor of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies

Scott Mitchell has been a faculty member of the Institute since 2008, and a member of the IBS and GTU community since he began his graduate work in 2000. His research interests include Buddhism in Western contexts, Buddhist modernity, Pure Land Buddhism, translocal religions, ritual studies, and media studies. He was appointed to the position of President in 2024.

Degrees and Certifications:
PhD, Graduate Theological Union
MA, Institute of Buddhist Studies/Graduate Theological Union
BA, San Francisco State University

Research and Teaching Interests:
Buddhism in Western contexts
Buddhist modernism
Pure Land Buddhism
Postcolonial studies of religion
Ritual studies
Media studies

Recent Publications:

  • The Making of American Buddhism, New York: Oxford University Press, 2023.
  • Methods in Buddhist Studies: essays in honor of Richard K. Payne, co-edited with Natalie Fisk Quli, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
  • Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Contexts, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
  • Buddhism Beyond Borders: New Perspectives on Buddhism in the United States, co-edited with Natalie E.F. Quli, SUNY Press, 2015.
  • “Drawing Blood: At the Intersection of Knowledge Economies and Buddhist Economies,” in Buddhism under Capitalism: Historical Background and Contemporary Manifestations, edited by Richard K. Payne and Fabio Rambelli. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022.
  • “American Shin Buddhist Music,” in Asian American Religious Cultures, ABC-CLIO Press, 2015.
  • “The Ritual Use of Music in US Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist Communities,” Contemporary Buddhism, 2014.
  • “The Tranquil Meditator: representing Buddhism and Buddhists in US popular media,” Religion Compass, 2014.

Courses Taught:
Buddhism in the West
Buddhism and Film
History of Shin Buddhism: Modern
Critical Race Theory and American Buddhism