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Research Fellows

Dr Andrew Skilton

Senior Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies


Address: Department of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Room 3.20, Virginia Woolf Building,
22 Kingsway


Andrew Skilton read Theology and Religious Studies at Bristol (BA) and Buddhist Studies/Sanskrit at the Oriental Institute, Oxford (PhD). He has taught at Bristol, Oxford, McGill Montreal, and Cardiff Universities. He has been the Spalding Fellow at Clare Hall Cambridge and Numata Visiting Professor at McGill University. He came to King’s to take up a Senior Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies. He is general editor of the journal Contemporary Buddhism.

Research interests
  • Buddhist literature, especially sutra literature
  • Buddhist texts in Sanskrit and Pali
  • The Samadhiraja Sutra
  • Buddhist meditation
  • traditional Theravada
  • Buddhism in application
  • transmission of Buddhism to the UK

I have recently finished two publications: editing Bareau’s remarkable Early Schools of Buddhism in its first English-language edition; and an article examining in detail the circumstances of the establishment of the first English bhikkhu-sangha or Buddhist monastic community. I have a long-term interest in a Mahayana Buddhist scripture, the Samadhiraja Sutra, on which I have already published a number of times and to which I return periodically – I hope to complete a full English translation in the next 5 to 10 years. I have almost completed a volume on the study of Pali language and literature which I would like to finish in 2013. I am involved in a research programme here at King’s on traditional Theravada (i.e. pre-reform Buddhism in SE Asia) and also manage a project at the Bodleian Library Oxford cataloguing Shan lik long texts from Maehongson (Thailand), Oxford and Cambridge.


4AAT1901 Introduction to Buddhism
5AAT2901 Buddhist Ethics


7AATC902 The Codicology of Buddhist Manuscripts

PhD supervision

I would be interested to receive enquiries from people interested in the following areas – other subjects would also be considered:

  • Buddhist literature in Pali or Sanskrit
  • the transmission of Buddhism to the UK
  • Buddhist meditation
Selected publications


'How the Nagas Were Pleased' & 'The Shattered Thighs': Two Sanskrit Tragedies, (353 pp.) Clay Sanskrit Library, New York University Press 2009

The Bodhicaryāvatāra A Guide to the Buddhist Path to Awakening, with H.K. Crosby (191 pp.) Oxford University Press (1996)

A Concise History of Buddhism (263 pp.) Windhorse Publications (1994)

Edited books:

André Bareau: The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle, English translation by Sara Boin-Webb, University Hawaii Press (forthcoming 2013)

Recent Articles:

‘Elective affinities: the reconstruction of a forgotten episode in the shared history of Thai and British Buddhism – Kapilavaḍḍho and Wat Paknam’, in Pioneer western Buddhists and Asian networks 1860 – 1960. eds. B. Bocking, L. Cox and A. Turner, special issue of Contemporary Buddhism, May 2013.

‘The Significance of the Phitsanulok Dhammakāya Inscription for the dating and character of borān/yogāvacara meditation in Theravāda’ with Phibul Choompolpaisal, Kate Crosby, Andrew Skilton

‘Research on the Early Schools of Buddhism since 1955: a selected supplementary bibliography’, in The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle, English translation by Sara Boin-Webb, Hawaii University Press (forthcoming 2013).

‘André Bareau: his legacy’, in The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle, English translation by Sara Boin-Webb, Hawaii University Press (forthcoming 2013).

'Theravada Philosophy', for A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, ed. Steven Emmanuel, Wiley-Blackwell (forthcoming 2013).

‘Atheism in Buddhism’, in The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. eds. S. Bullivant and M. Ruse. Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2013).

'The sutta on understanding death: the transference of borān-yogāvacara from Siam to the Kandyan kingdom', with H.K. Crosby and A. Gunasena, Journal of Indian Philosophy 40, 2012: 177-198.

'Lost in Translation: Scatological Language in Pali Literature', Contemporary Buddhism 11, 2010: 47-68.





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