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James A. Benn (PhD UCLA 2001) is Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at McMaster University and Director of the McMaster University Centre for Buddhist Studies. He studies Buddhism and Daoism in medieval China. He has published on self-immolation, spontaneous human combustion, Buddhist apocryphal scriptures, and tea and alcohol in medieval China in journals such as History of Religions, T’oung Pao, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies and Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. He is the author of Burning for the Buddha: Self-immolation in Chinese Buddhism (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007) and Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007). He is currently working on a translation and study of the Śūramgama sutra, a Chinese Buddhist apocryphon.