Andrew Skilton


Associate Faculty Member



Research Interests:

Buddhist narrative literature

Interpretation of Buddhist texts

Buddhist meditation

Samādhirāja Sūtra


Current Reserach Projects:

  • vīthicitta in the Jie tuo dao lun解脫道論 (*Vimuttimagga)
  • revising and retranslating the Dīpavaṃsa text, ch.1 from new manuscript evidence.
  • Aspects of the boran kammathan meditation tradition.


Teaching (in Oxford):

Buddhist Studies

Pali Language and Literature

Advanced Pali

Buddhist Sanskrit texts


Current Writing Projects:

Pālibhāsa – an introduction to the Pali language and the study of Pali. (book)

Assessing the text of the Jie tuo dao lun 解脫道論 (*Vimuttimagga): a preliminary text-critical analysis of variant readings for the mango simile in the vīthicitta section. (with Kim Kyungrae, Dongguk University)

The mango simile revisited: a review of analogies for the consciousness process (vīthicitta) in Jie tuo dao lun 解脫道論 (*Vimuttimagga) and Atthasālinī. (with Kim Kyungrae, Dongguk University)

King Thaksin’s guide to meditation – the Dhammalakkhana. (with Phibul Choompolpaisal, Mahidol University)

The recently discovered earliest manuscript of Mayura’s Sūryaśataka.

Vīnā and vinaya – an obscure verse in Harṣa’s Nāgānanda.


Recent Writing (unpublished):

Monkey Business: themes, metaphors and similes in the Upāli Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya.

When the gods intervene – roaring, child sexual exploitation, the hot seat, ethical blindspots and epistemological impasse. Narrative complexity in the jātaka story of Ciñcā, the vagrant girl.

Portrait of a lost object. Regulation water bottles and the creation of the universe: redefining dhammakaraka and dhamakaraṇa in the Pali Tipiṭaka.

When threatened masculinity trumps pastoral care in the Theravāda vinaya: calling the Buddha 'queer' in Pali.

Behind the rules: Variations in the formulation and rationale of the Vinaya rule forbidding surgery in the gluteal cleft.

When and how to operate — treatment for anal fistula (bhagandala/bhagandara) in the Pāli vinaya and commentarial literature.



‘Writing the Word of the Buddha: An Instance of Redaction Practice in a “Middle Period” Mahāyāna Sūtra.’ (Schopen Festschrift. Wisdom Books)


Recent Publications:

‘The Significance of the Phitsanulok Dhammakāya Inscription for the Dating and Character of Boran (Ancient) Practices in Southeast Asian Theravāda Buddhism.’ with Phibul Choompolpaisal. Buddhist Studies Review 39.1 (2022) 11–47.

‘Meditation and its Subjects: Tracing Kammaṭṭhāna from the Early Canon to the Boran Kammathan Traditions of Southeast Asia.’ Contemporary Buddhism 20 (2019) 36–72.

'Terms of Engagement: Text, Technique and Experience in Scholarship on Theravada Meditation' with Kate Crosby and Pyi Phyo Kyaw. Contemporary Buddhism 20 (2019) 1-35.

'Afterword: Ways forward.' with Kate Crosby and Pyi Phyo Kyaw. Contemporary Buddhism 20 2019 372–77.

‘The Sun Hides Its Light In The Bodleian Library: Ms. Sansk. E.20 And The Story Of An Erroneous Identification.’ Bodleian Library Record 29 (2016) 133–169.

‘The Ancient Theravāda Meditation System, Borān Kammaṭṭhāna: Ānāpānasati or ‘Mindfulness of The Breath’ in Kammatthan Majjima Baeb Lamdub.’ with Phibul Choompolpaisal. Buddhist Studies Review 32.2 (2015) 207–229.

‘Critical Thinking and Buddhist Studies – the genesis of a workshop.’ Contemporary Buddhism 16 (2015) 356–370.

‘The Old Meditation (boran kammatthan), a pre-reform Theravāda meditation system from Wat Ratchasittharam. The pīti section of the kammatthan matchima baep lamdap.’ Aseanie 33 (2014) 83–116.

andrew skilton