Dr. Kenneth W. Holloway

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Levenson Chair and Associate Professor

Areas of Expertise

Early Chinese Religious and Intellectual History

Email: khollow4@fau.edu
Office Phone: (561) 297-1328

faculty photo

I research the history of religion from the pre-Han period in China through the development of Buddhism as it crossed East Asia.  The first stage of my research was to establish a new model for understanding how religion developed in early China.  This involved analyzing recently discovered manuscripts buried in a tomb from 300 BCE in what is now Hubei Provence.  I have written two books on this subject that were published by Oxford University Press. They are entitled Guodian: The Newly Discovered Seeds of Chinese Religious and Political Philosophy (2009) and The Quest for Ecstatic Morality in Early China (2013). Right now I am writing my third book, which will employ the model I developed based on recent excavations to shed new light on the development of Buddhism in China.  Buddhism entered China from India in the Han, but by this time religious beliefs in both countries were already well established.  The synergy I am discovering between Indian and Chinese religion leaves us with two possibilities.  It is conceivable that the process of translating sutras into Chinese meant that only texts that exhibited similar beliefs were selected.  The second, and more likely option, is that the process of religious exchange began prior to the Han Dynasty.


Undergraduate Courses

  • History of Eastern Ideas
  • Confucianism and Human Rights
  • Anarchism in Ancient China
  • Historical Methods
  • Senior Seminar
  • History of East Asia
  • Introduction to Japanese History

Curriculum Vitae (Available upon request)