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Joe Marino's interests and training are in the study of religions, broadly construed, and more specifically in the history, languages, and literature of early South and East Asian Buddhism. His doctoral work focused on recently discovered Gāndhārī Buddhist manuscripts – the oldest extant South Asian manuscripts – from the first to third centuries. Methodologically, he combines classical philology with literary analysis and theories of religion. He also has a strong secondary interest in religious syncretism/hybridity, especially in Japan.
His current project is two-fold. The first part is an edition, translation, and comparative study of two Buddhist sūtras on an unpublished second-century Gāndhārī manuscript. The second part investigates the use of metaphorical language as a pedagogical technique in early Buddhist literature. As a test case, he look to metaphors and similes illustrating hells and their tortures to show how Buddhist texts mapped meaning onto, and drew meaning from, the sociopolitical contexts in which they were composed and received.
He has designed and taught a variety of courses in the humanities, including World Religions, Religious Diversity in America, Sanskrit, and American Identity in the World. Through public talks and workshops, he is also interested in connecting the academy with the local communities that serve it.
- Asian Studies
2015. “Cats with Flaming Tails: The Simile of the Fortified City in Pāli and Gāndhārī Sūtra Literature.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 38: 73-105.
2014. (with Richard Salomon) “Observations on the Deorkothar Inscriptions and Their Significance for the Evaluation of Buddhist Historical Traditions.” Sōka daigaku kokusai bukkyōgaku kōtō kenkyūjo nenpō 創価大学国際仏教学高等研究所年報 Annual Report of The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University 17: 27-39.