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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Religious Studies

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Faculty & Staff

Ben Nourse

  • Ben Nourse

    Ben Nourse

Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Adviser
Sturm Hall 271
Phone: 303-871-3539
Email: [email protected] 


  • PhD, University of Virginia, Religious Studies
  • MA, University of Virginia, Religious Studies
  • BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, East Asian Studies

Areas of expertise/Research interests

  • Asian Religions
  • Buddhist Studies
  • Tibetan Studies
  • History of the Book in Asia

Current research and projects

Dr. Nourse is a historian of religion with a particular focus on Buddhism as it developed in Tibet and China. Recently, he has also been active in research on the history of the book in Tibet. He was co-organizer of the Symposium on the Tibetan Book held at the University of Virginia in November 2014. Dr. Nourse's article on Tibetan religious publishing in the eighteenth century, "Revolutions of the Dharma Wheel: Uses of Tibetan Printing in the Eighteenth Century," will be published in the forthcoming Brill volume Printing as an Agent of Change in Tibet and Beyond. He is currently at work on a book-length study of the growth of Tibetan religious publishing in the eighteenth century. Most of his other projects are related to the history of Buddhist scriptures. These include a history of the Tibetan Buddhist Canon (the Kangyur and Tengyur) and a study of pre-twelfth-century manuscripts of the Heart S ūtra in Chinese and Tibetan.

Dr. Nourse enjoys translating Tibetan literature and has been working for some time on a translation and study of a Tibetan history of the kingdom of Choné, a once thriving polity that straddled the political and cultural spheres of China and Tibet. A portion of his translation of the history of Choné has been published in the Columbia University Press volume Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013). 

Professional biography

Dr. Nourse received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Chinese literature and politics and began his training in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies. After graduating, he eventually found my way to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he worked for the Tibetan and Himalayan Library and pursued graduate work at the University of Virginia, culminating in a PhD in Religious Studies with a focus on Tibetan and Chinese religions.

Dr. Nourse is currently an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Denver teaching an assortment of courses on Buddhism and Asian Religions. He has lived and conducted research in India, Nepal, and China, including as a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in China (2010-11). He has also been a Florence Tan Moeson Fellow of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, an E. Ph. Goldschmidt Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School, and the recipient of grants from the University of Wisconsin Libraries and the Jefferson Trust.