MULLER A. Charles

J-GLOBAL         Last updated: Nov 6, 2018 at 12:36
MULLER A. Charles
The University of Tokyo Faculty of Letters, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology
Center for Evolving Humanities
Job title


Originally from Long Island, New York, A. Charles Muller is Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo. He has been living and working in Japan since 1994. His main field of study is Buddhism, but he is also a student of the broader area of East Asian philosophy and religion (Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism). During graduate school and the first few years after finishing his doctorate, he worked primarily with Korean Seon (Zen) Buddhism. For the past decade, his work has focused on the writings of the Korean scholar-monk Wonhyo 元曉 (617-686), and this has in turn involved him in the study of East Asian Yogâcāra and Tathāgatagarbha thought.

He is especially interested in translating classical East Asian works for the Western audience. He has published a number of works into English, both in book form and on the Internet, which are listed on his publications page (

He has been, since the birth of the WWWeb, quite taken with the possibilities inherent in the digital domain for the development of and sharing of information related to the area East Asian religious/philosophical thought. The exciting challenges and opportunities that are presently available have stimulated him to initiate a few digital-web projects, most important of which at present are the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism and Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese-English Dictionary, as well as the rest of the glossaries, indexes, translations, and other guides contained on his site. He is also the founder and managing editor of H-Buddhism, a network for communication among academic specialists in Buddhist studies.

Research Areas


Academic & Professional Experience

Apr 2013
Mar 2019
Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, - University of Tokyo
Apr 1994
Mar 1997
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Toyo Gakuen University
Apr 1997
Aug 2008
Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Toyo Gakuen University
Sep 2008
Mar 2013
Special Appointment Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, - University of Tokyo


Korean Studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook
East Asian Religions, Faculty of Literature, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Committee Memberships

American Academy of Religion (AAR)  Member
日本印度学仏教学会  会員

Published Papers

An Inquiry into Views, Beliefs and Faith: Lessons from Buddhism, Behavioural Psychology and Constructivist Epistemology
MULLER A. Charles
Contemporary Buddhism   19(2) 1-20   Sep 2018   [Refereed]
The SAT Taishō Text Database: A Brief History
MULLER A. Charles
Reinventing the Tripitaka: Transformation of the Buddhist Canon in Modern East Asia   175-185   2018   [Refereed][Invited]
MULLER A. Charles
5 125-199   2018   [Invited]
Xiong Shili and the New Treatise: A review discussion of Xiong Shili, New Treatise on the Uniqueness of Consciousness, an annotated translation by John Makeham
MULLER A. Charles
Sophia   56(3) 523-526   2017   [Refereed][Invited]
Japanese Studies of Korean Buddhism: The Present State of the Field
MULLER A. Charles
Acta Asiatica   112 91-104   2017   [Refereed][Invited]
Philosophical Aspects of the Goryeo-Joseon Confucian- Buddhist Confrontation: Focusing on the Works of Jeong Dojeon (Sambong) and Hamheo Deuktong (Gihwa)
MULLER A. Charles
Min, Anselm, ed. Korean Religions in Relation   53-85   2016   [Refereed][Invited]
The Emergence of Essence-Function (ti-yong) 體用 Hermeneutics in the Sinification of Indic Buddhism: An Overview
MULLER A. Charles
Critical Review of Buddhist Studies   19 111-152   2016   [Refereed][Invited]
A Pivotal Text for the Definition of the Two Hindrances in East Asia: Huiyuan’s “Erzhang yi” Chapter.
MULLER A. Charles
A Distant Mirror: Articulating Indic Ideas in Sixth and Seventh Century Chinese Buddhism. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press   217-271   2015   [Refereed][Invited]
The Goryeo-Joseon Debates Between Confucianism and Buddhism: Jeong Dojeon and Gihwa
MULLER A. Charles
Bunka koryu kenkyu   28(1) 9-21   2015   [Refereed][Invited]
Wŏnhyo’s Approach to Harmonization of the Mahayana Doctrines (Hwajaeng)
MULLER A. Charles
Acta Koreana   18(1) 9-44   2015   [Refereed][Invited]
Zen Views on Views (dṛṣṭi): Are We Ever Rid of Them?
MULLER A. Charles
Japan Mission Journal   67(1) 28-33   2013   [Invited]
Wonhyo and Logic
Bulletin of Toyo Gakuen University   (16) 1-17   2008
Wonhyo's Reliance on Huiyuan in his Exposition of the Two Hindrances
Reflecting Mirrors: Perspectives on Huayan Buddhism (Imre Hamar, ed., Harrassowitz Verlag)   281-295   2007
Explanation of the Essence of the Two Hindrances through Ten Canonical Texts
Korean Buddhism in East Asian Perspectives   191-213   2007
Faith and the Resolution of the Four Doubts in Wonhyo's Doctrinal Essentials of the Sūtra of Immeasurable Life (Muryangsu gyeong jong'yo)
Bulletin of Toyo Gakuen University   (15) 1-15   2007
The Great Confucian-Buddhist Debate
Princeton University Press
The Religions of Korea in Practice   177-204   2007
印度學佛教學研究   (55) 506-512   2006
A Korean Contribution to the Zen Canon: The Oga Hae Seorui (Commentaries of Five Masters on the Diamond Sūtra)pp. .
Oxford UP
Zen Classics: Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism   43-64   2006
"The Yogācāra Two Hindrances and their Reinterpretations in East Asia."
Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies   Volume 27, Number 1,. pp. 207-235.    2004
"Gihwa's Analysis of the Relationship between the Worded and Wordless Teachings: The Ogahae seorui"
Bulletin of Toyo Gakuen University   Vol. 12, p. 1-16    2004


Muller's CJK-English Character Dictionary
(CD-ROM)      1996
The Structure and Function of the Interlinked CJK-English and Buddhist CJK-English Dictionaries
(59) 109-118   1998

Books etc

Korea's Great Buddhist-Confucian Debate: The Treatises of Chŏng Tojŏn (Sambong) and Hamhŏ Tŭkt’ong (Kihwa)
MULLER A. Charles
University of Hawai`i Press   Mar 2015   
A Korean-English Dictionary of Buddhist Terms
MULLER A. Charles
Unjusa   2014   
Wonhyo's Philosophy of Mind
MULLER A. Charles (Part:Joint Work, 400 pages)
University of Hawai`i Press   Nov 2011   
The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment : Korean Buddhism's Guide to Meditation(with commentary by the Sŏn Monk Kihwa)
State University of New York Press   1999   
Patterns of Religion
Wadsword Publishing Co.   1999   
"A Korean Contribution to the Zen Canon: The Oga Hae Seorui (Commentaries of Five Masters on the Diamond Sūtra)"
Zen Classics: Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism (Oxford University Press)   2005   


MULLER A. Charles   Web Service   Jul 1995 - Today
An ongoing lexicographical project for the study of Classical Chinese texts. On 2017/1/31 contained 51,845 entries.
MULLER A. Charles   Web Service   1995 - Today
A scholarly website featuring research materials for East Asian language and thought, including academic articles, translations, lexicons, and other materials.
平成10年度 基盤研究(2)(C) 研究課題: 東洋史関係語彙索引の編集 (2年間:1,500,000円) 研究代表者
1998 - 1999
A. Charles Muller   Web Service   1986 - Today
An ongoing, crowd-sourced lexicographical project for the reading of Buddhist text written in Classical Chinese. As of 2/2017 contained 67,000 entries.
平成12年度 基盤研究(C) 企画調査 (1) 研究課題: 東アジア仏教電子辞典の開発 (1 年間: 2,200,000 円) 研究代表者
Digitization of "The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalog," by Lewis Lancaster and Sung Bae Park. Available at
2003 - 2004
平成14年度 基盤研究(2)(C) 研究課題: 仏教辞典の電子化とインタネット掲載 (2年間 1,700,000円) 研究代表者
2002 - 2004
English Translation of the _Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra_ (fasc. 47-71) (in progress)
2002 - 2009

Research Grants & Projects

A Dictionary of Classical Chinese Buddhist Terms (www document)
Awakening of Faith
East Asian Yogacara
Korean Buddhism