Staff Profile


Dr David Burton

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922369

Profile summary

David Burton came to Canterbury Christ Church in 2004, having previously held
the Gordon Milburn Fellowship at Oxford University. He has also taught at Mount
Saint Vincent University in Canada and the Open University.

He is interested in many aspects of Buddhism, mysticism and religious language, comparative philosophy and religion, and the philosophy of religion. He is also currently researching the representation of Hinduism in Indian films.

Research and knowledge exchange

His most recent publication is  Buddhism: A Contemporary Philosophical Inverstigation published by Routledge (2017). Current projects include a comparative study of the therapeutic method in Hellenistic Philosophy and Buddhism, a book chapter on religious experience in classical Buddhism, and an article about the representation of Dalits and caste in Indian films.

Teaching and subject expertise

He teaches undergraduate modules on topics such as ethics, world religions, Buddhism, Indian and Chinese philosophy and religion and visual culture.

External activities

He is on the editorial board of Contemporary Buddhism (Taylor and Francis) and has acted as a peer reviewer for various academic journals and publishers.

Publications and research outputs


'The Therapeutic Method in Hellenistic and Buddhist Philosophy' in What is Comparative Philosophy? Martin Ovens (ed.) Cambridge Scholars Press.

'Religious Experience in Classical Buddhism' in The Cambridge Companion to Religious Experience. Paul Moser and Chad Meister (eds.) Cambridge University Press.


Buddhism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation
. Routledge, 2017.

Buddhism, Knowledge and Liberation. A Philosophical Study. Aldershot: Ashgate Publications, 2004.

Emptiness Appraised. A Critical Study of Nagarjuna's Philosophy. London: Curzon, 1999.


'Language and Reality in Buddhism. The Case for Moderate Linguistic Optimism' in The Philosophy of Language and Communication. An Anthology. Nirmalya Chakraborty (ed.) Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, 2014.

'Emptiness in Indian Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy' in Steven Emmanuel (ed) A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, 151-164 .

'A Buddhist Perspective' in Chad Meister (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 321-336.

'Curing Diseases of Belief and Desire: Buddhist Philosophical Therapy' in Jonardon Ganeri and Clare Carlisle (eds), Philosophy as Therapeia: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 66, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 187-218.

'Buddhism' in Chad Meister and Paul Copan (eds) The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Religion, London: Routledge, 2007, 16-27.  


'Fire, Water and the Goddess. The Films of Deepa Mehta and Satyjit Ray as Critiques of patriarchy in Hinduism'. Journal of Religion and Film 17 (2), 2013. Available at:

'Unconscious Beliefs in Buddhist Philosophy. A Comparative Perspective.' Contemporary Buddhism 6 (2), 2005, 117-130.

'Knowledge and Liberation. Philosophical Ruminations on a Buddhist Conundrum.' Philosophy East and West52 (3), 2002, 326-45.

'Is Madhyamaka Buddhism Really the Middle Way? Emptiness and the Problem of Nihilism.' Contemporary Buddhism2 (2), 2001, 177-190.

'Wisdom Beyond Words? Ineffability in Madhyamaka and Yogacara Buddhism.' Contemporary Buddhism1 (1), 2000, 53-76.

Book review:

'Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness', Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 33(3), 519-522.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 00:48:00