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Dr Christopher V Jones

Dr Christopher V Jones

Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer.

Bye-Fellow, Selwyn College.


Dr Jones received an undergraduate degree in theology and religious studies at Cambridge (Corpus Christi), and subsequent graduate and doctoral training in Sanskrit and other Asian languages at the University of Oxford (St Anne's, St Peter's), where he taught for the faculties of religious studies and of oriental studies (2012-2019). His research is in classical Buddhist literature extant in various Asian languages (Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan), and particularly Mahāyāna Buddhist literature from the early centuries of the Common Era.

A significant focus of Dr Jones' research, and the focus of his first monograph (The Buddhist Self: On Tathāgatagarbha and Ātman), has been the Indian 'Buddha-nature' tradition as it has been preserved in South, Central and East Asian literatures, foremost in connection to literature associated with the Mahāparinirvāṇamahāsūtra/Dabanniepan jing. His other research interests, reflected in several forthcoming publications, include pre-modern Buddhist attitudes to non-Buddhist teaching and authority in India and elsewhere, and the evolving place of Buddhist reflection on liberation and liberated beings in South Asia in the early centuries CE.

Research Interests

* Pre-modern Buddhist literature(s) of India, China and Tibet.

* Mahāyāna Buddhism.

* Buddha-nature (or tathāgatagarbha) literature of the early Common Era.

* Buddhist interactions with and attitudes towards other religious traditions, primarily in South and East Asia.

* Indian Buddhology of the early Common Era.


Topics in Indian religion and Buddhist studies for the following papers:

A7; B16; C10; D1G.

Other Professional Activities

Assistant editor, Buddhist Studies Review

Section editor, Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism

Key Publications

The Buddhist Self: On Tathāgatagarbha and Ātman. 2021. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

‘Reconsidering the ‘Essence’ of Indian Buddha-nature Literature.’ 2020. Acta Asiatica: Bulletin of the Institute of Easter Culture, vol.118, pp.57-78.

‘A Self-Aggrandizing Vehicle: tathāgatagabha, tīrthikas and the true self.’ 2016. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol.39, pp.115-170.

‘Beings, Non-Beings, and Buddhas: contrasting notions of tathāgatagarbha in the Anūnatvāpūratvanirdeśa and *Mahābherīsūtra.’ 2016. Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol.10, pp.53-84.



Buddhism and its Religious Others: Historical Encounters and Representations. editor and contributor. Oxford: OUP.

‘Translating the Tīrthika: An Enduring ‘Heresy’ in Buddhist Studies.’ In Alice Collett, ed., Translating Buddhism: Collected Essays on Translation Theory and Practice (South Asia), New York: SUNY Press.

‘Varieties of Early Buddha-nature Teaching in India.’ In Klaus-Dieter Mathes, ed., Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Contributing entries to Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism (volumes III and IV)

Contributing entries to Buddhism in Five Minutes, ed. Elizabeth Harris. London: Equinox.


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