Robert Buswell earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985. Before returning to academe, he spent seven years as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Korea, which served as the basis of his book The Zen Monastic Experience: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea(link is external) (Princeton University Press, 1992). He is now a professor of Chinese and Korean Buddhist studies, and chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures(link is external), at the University of California, Los Angeles. He founded UCLA's Center for Buddhist Studies(link is external) in 2000, and was the initial faculty director of the Center for Korean Studies(link is external) from 1992 to 2001.
Buswell specializes in the Son (Zen) tradition of Korean Buddhism. In addition to The Zen Monastic Experience(link is external) he is author of The Korean Approach to Zen: The Collected Works of Chinul(link is external) (University of Hawaii Press, 1983), reprinted as Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul's Korean Way of Zen (University of Hawaii Press, 1991); and The Formation of Ch'an Ideology in China and Korea: The Vajrasamadhi-Sutra, A Buddhist Apocryphon(link is external) (Princeton University Press, 1989). He is also editor of Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha(link is external) (University of Hawaii Press, 1990); Paths to Liberation: The Marga and Its Transformations in Buddhist Thought(link is external), Robert Buswell and Robert M. Gimello, coeditors (University of Hawaii Press, 1992); and Abhidharma Buddhism to 150 A.D. Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies(link is external), vol. 7, Karl H. Potter, editor; Robert Buswell, P. S. Jaini and Noble Ross Reat, coeditors (Delhi: Motilal Barnarsidass, 1996). Buswell has also authored some forty articles concerning the Korean, Chinese, and Indian Buddhist traditions.
Dissertation: The Korean Origin of the Vajrasamadhi-Sutra: A Case Study in Determining the Dating, Provenance, and Authorship of a Buddhist Apocryphal Scripture. [electronic resource(link is external)]. 1985. 624 p.