Harold Roth

Brown University

Harold Roth, Ph.D., is professor of religious studies and founding director of the contemplative studies initiative at Brown University. He is a specialist in Chinese philosophy and textual analysis, the classical Daoist tradition, the comparative study of contemplative experiences, and a pioneer of the academic field of contemplative studies, in which he created the first bachelor’s degree program at a major research university in North America.

He has published six books and more than fifty scholarly articles in these areas, including Original Tao (Columbia, 1999), a translation and analysis of the oldest text on breath meditation in China, and Against Cognitive Imperialism (Religion East and West, 2008), a critique of conceptual bias in cognitive sciences and religious studies. A long-time practitioner of Rinzai Zen meditation, Roth is also the editor of About Tathagatha Zen (Rinzai-ji Press, 2014), the only authorized book by the late Joshu Sasaki Roshi (1907–2014).