Professor Ron Epstein:
Selected Papers, Publications, and Talks Available Online
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Please send any correspondence to one of the following email addresses : ronald.epstein@drbu.org or  repstein@sfsu.edu.

Main Websites:

"Resources for My Students" 

"Resources for the Study of Religion" 

"Resources for the Study of Buddhism" 

"Genetic Engineering and Its Dangers" 

"Environmental Ethics" 


Books, Articles, Translations, Essays, and Talks

“Application of Buddhist Teachings to Modern Life: The Foundational Role of the Five Moral Precepts.” Religion East and West, Issue 11, October 2012, pp. 52-61.

 “The ‘Revolutionary’ Bhikshunis.” Keynote Address, Dharma Realm Buddhist University Commencement, May 16, 2012. Vajra Bodhi Sea, June 2012, pp. 58-60.

“How to Be a Good President.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, March 2012, pp. 30-32.

“It is Hard to Encounter a Good Spiritual Teacher: My Teacher, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua.” Vajra Bodhi Sea. Part One: October 2011, pp. 41-43. Part Two: November 2011, pp. 31-33. Part Three: December 2011, pp. 32-35. Part Four: January 2012, pp. 27-30. Part Five: February 2012, pp. 30-33.

“In this Violent World Can We Live in Peace and Harmony?” Vajra Bodhi Sea, June 2011, pp. 35-37.

“Historic Multi-Faith Delegation to China.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, June. 2010, pp. 41-42.

 Vajra Bodhi Sea: Auspicious Beginnings.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, April 2010, pp. 34-36.

“China and America: Buddhist and Interreligious Connections,” A talk by Prof. Ron Epstein at a meeting of the China Buddhist Association, Longquan Monastery, Beijing, China, October 19, 2009. 中國與美國在佛教以及各宗教間的連繫- - 易象乾教授講於20091019日中國佛教協會. Vajra Bodhi Sea, Pt. 1, Dec. 2009, pp. 39-41; Pt. 2, Jan. 2010, pp. 34-36, 27. Vajra Bodhi Sea, Pt. 2, Jan. 2010, pp. 34-36, 27.

(co-chair, translation committee) The Śūraṇgama Sutra: A New Translation with Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua. Talmage, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009.

(interview with Richard Josephson) “I Only Have One Teacher.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, May, 2009, pp. 36-38.

Climate Change Cover-Up,” Ukiah VegFest, March 21, 2009.

(translator) Mahamaudgalyayana Visits Another Planet: A Selection from the Scripture Which Is An Repository of Great Jewels.” (Taisho Tripitaka #310, roll 10, 56c4-57c7). Religion East and West, Issue 5, October 2005, pp. 133-139.

“Re-Encountering the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua in China,” Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism, v. 36, ser. 84, June, 2005, pp. 44-47.

“Environmental Issues: A Buddhist Perspective,” Talk at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Talmage, CA. Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism, v. 35, series 83, March 2005, pp. 28-31.

“Bridging the Gulf between Monastics and Laypeople,” Vajra Bodhi Sea, v. 35, series 82, August, 2004, pp. 32-34.

(compiler) Buddhist Text Translation Society’s Buddhism A to Z. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003.

Duhkha,”  Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism, Series 77 (February, 2002), pp. 38-39.

“Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering.” (accompanied by Chinese translation) Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism, Pt. 1, v. 32, Series 76 (October, 2001), pp.  34-35, 39;  Pt. 2, v. 32, Series 76 (November, 2001), pp. 28-29, 32 ; Pt. 3, v. 32, Series 76 (December, 2001), pp.36-38; Pt. 4, v. 32, Series 76 (January, 2002), pp.33-35; Pt. 5, v. 32, Series 77 (February, 2002), pp.28-30; Pt. 6, v. 32, Series 77 (March, 2002), pp. 26-29, Pt. 7, v. 32, Series 77 (April, 2002), pp. 28-29; Pt. 8, v. 32, Series 77 (May, 2002), pp. 26-27; Pt. 9, v. 33, Series 77 (June, 2002), pp. 31-33; Pt. 10, v. 33, Series 77 (July, 2002), pp. 38-39; Pt. 11, v. 33, Series 78 (August, 2002), pp. 32-35; Pt. 12, v. 33, Series 78 (September, 2002), pp. 32-33; Pt. 13, v. 33, Series 78 (October, 2002), pp. 31-33. Partially reprinted in Hazel Simmons-McDonald and Rod Ellis. Let’s Work with English for CXC. Oxford: Heinemann, 2002, pp. 269-270. Published in Ethical Issues in Biotechnology. Richard Sherlock and John D. Morrey, eds. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002, pp.47-70.

“Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment.”  Religion East and West, Issue One, June, 2001, pp. 39-47.  Reprinted in Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism. Pt. 1, v. 31, Series 34 (March 2001), pp. 36-38; Pt. 2 (April 2001), pp. 35-36; Pt. 3 (May 2001), pp. 40-41; Pt. 4 (June 2001), pp. 35-37.

“Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace.” Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism. Pt. 1, v. 30, Series 72 (April 2000) pp. 38-39, 27; Pt. 2, v. 30, Series 72 (May 2000) pp. 32-33; Pt. 3, v. 31, Series 73 (June 2000) pp. 28-30; Pt. 4, v. 31, Series 73 (July 2000) pp. 34-35, 44.

"Pollution and the Environment: Some Radically New Ancient Views."  Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism. Pt. 1, v. 30 (Dec. 1999), pp. 36, 12; Pt. 2, v. 30 (Jan. 2000), pp. 37-38; Pt. 3, v. 30 (February 2000), pp. 36-38, 46.

"Ethical Dangers of Genetic Engineering." Synthesis/Regeneration 20, Fall, 1999, pp. 2-4. Reprinted in Mencinnatian [newsletter of the Cincinnati, Ohio Mensa chapter], November, 2003, pp. 16-19. Partially reprinted as “Genetic Engineering Will Not Benefit Society” in Biomedical Ethics: Opposing Viewpoints. Roman Espejo, ed. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003, 165-171. Partially reprinted in Claudia Spieler, ed. Teacher’s Guide to Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, Stuttgart, Germany: Ernst Klett Sprachen, 2010, p. 63.

“The Inner Ecology: Buddhist Ethics and Practice.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, March, 1999, pp. 36-39.

 "Clearing Up Some Misconceptions about Buddhism." Vajra Bodhi Sea, Feb., 1999, pp. 41-43.

“The Interior Life.” Vajra Bodhi Sea, Nov. 1998, pp. 47-49.

“Buddhism and Biotechnology.” Edited from a Talk Delivered at "Spiritual Dimensions of Our Technological Future,"  AHIMSA Sixth Annual Conference, International House, University of California at Berkeley, Oct. 3, 1998. Ahimsa Voices: a Quarterly Journal for the Promotion of Universal Values, ________. Reprinted with Chinese translation in Vajra Bodhi Sea, Jan. 1999, pp. 39-41.

“Buddhist Studies and Buddhist Practice: How Should Academy and Monastery Relate?” Institute for World Religions, Berkeley, CA. Fall Faculty Lecture Series: “Walking the Way: Praxis and Gnosis in Religious Experience,” November 19, 1998.

“Our Relationship with Nature: A Buddhist Exploration,” Faculty Lecture Series, Institute for World Religions, Berkeley, California. December 2, 1997.

"Animals for Dinner--A Karmic Tale." San Francisco Examiner, May 21, 1997, p. A-17. (Reprinted in English and Chinese in  Vajra Bodhi Sea, July, 1997, pp. 48-49.)

"Foreword" by Ronald Epstein. The Fifty Skandha-Demon States: A Simple Explanation by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua. The Shurangama Sutra, Volume VIII, pp. vii-ix. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1996. 

“Why You Should Be Concerned About Genetically Engineered Food.” 1996. Published in English and Chinese in Vajra Bodhi Sea, Pt. 1, Feb. 1998, pp. 41-42; Pt. 2, March, 1998, pp. 37-39.

“Why Genetically Engineered Food Should Be Labeled.” 1996. 

"The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua Brings the Dharma to the West." In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, Volume One. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1995, pp. 59-68. Reprinted in The Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter One, Part One “The Wondrous Adornment of the Rulers of the Worlds; A Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2004, pp. 274-286.

"Remembrance and Gratitude." In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, Volume One. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1995, pp. 205-207. Reprinted in How Buddhism Changed My Life! The Moon Reflected in a Thousand Rivers: Stories of Master Hsuan Hua by his Disciples, vol. 1. Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, pp. 46-49.

"Genetic Engineering: A Major Threat to Vegetarians." Vajra Bodhi Sea, A Journal of Orthodox Buddhism, v. 23, ser. 55, no. 273, Feb. 1993, pp. 44-45.

"Pollution and the Environment: Some Radically New Ancient Views." Public lecture, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, May 19, 1992.


“A Buddhist Perspective On Animal Rights.” A paper presented at a national conference entitled "Animal Rights and Our Human Relationship to the Biosphere," March 29-April 1, 1990, San Francisco State University. Một Quan Điểm Phật Giáo Về Quyền Của Loài Vật (Vietnamese translation).

(translation and explanation) Xuanzang (Tripitaka Master).  "Verses Delineating the Eight Consciousnesses." MS 1985, 48 pp. Vajra Bodhi Sea: a Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism; Pt. 1, Dec. 1997, pp. 37-38; Pt. 2, Jan. 1998, pp. 35-36; Pt 3, Feb. 1998, pp. 34-35; Pt. 4, March, 1998, pp. 33-34; Pt. 5, April, 1998, pp. 34-35; Pt. 6, May, 1998, pp. 31-32; Pt. 7, June, 1998, pp. 31-32, 45; Pt. 8, July, 1998, pp. 31-32; Pt. 9, Aug., 1998, pp. 32-33; Pt. 10, Sept., 1998, pp. 36- 37 ; Pt. 11, Oct., 1998, pp. 38-39, 42. 

“Ethnic Buddhadharma?”

"The So-Called Lay 'Sangha' in America." Vajra Bodhi Sea, v. 16, ser. 38, no. 188, Jan. 1986, p. 18. (Chinese translation published in Wan-fo Ch'eng, Sept. 1985, p. 18.)

"The Transformation of Consciousness into Wisdom: The Path of the Bodhisattva according to the Ch'eng Wei‑shih Lun," Part One. Vajra Bodhi Sea, vol. 15, No. 176 (Jan. 1985), pp. 22‑23. Part Two. Vajra Bodhi Sea, vol. 15, No. 177 (Feb. 1985), pp 15‑17. Part Three. Vajra Bodhi Sea, vol. 15, No. 178 (March 1985), pp. 14‑15.

(principal translator) The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra with the No Stand Gatha Explanation and Prose Commentary of Gold Mountain Tripitaka Master, Sramana Hsuan‑hua.  San Francisco: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1980. xiv + 132 pp. (Also appeared in serialized form in Vajra Bodhi Sea from November, 1970, to April, 1972.)

“A Short History of the Sino-American Buddhist Association.” T.S., 1976, 76 pp.

 "Imitating Death in the Quest for Enlightenment." A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Pacific Northwest Branch, Eugene, OR, May 6‑8, 1976.

"The Surangama‑sutra (T. 945): A Reappraisal of Its Authenticity." A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Oriental Society, Philadelphia, March 16‑18, 1976.

"Ananda's Search for the Mind in Seven Locations," Vajra Bodhi Sea, March, 1975, pp. 17‑23.

(introduction and annotated translation) "The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra", Vajra Bodhi Sea, No. 9 (Dec., 1970), pp. 11‑21.  Reprinted in Hua, A General Explanation of the Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra.  San Francisco: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1974.

(translator) "The Bodhi Mirror: Introducing the Eminent Bhiksuni Dharma Master Hung Chih." Vajra Bodhi Sea #35, (Feb. 1973) p. 30.

(translator) Hsuan‑hua (Ven. Master). "The Thirty‑Ninth Patriarch, the Twelfth in China, Dhyana Master Kuang Mu." Vajra Bodhi Sea, v. 1, series 3, no. 12 (March 1971), pp. 1‑4.

(translator) Master Hsuan Hua. "Little Roadside."  Vajra Bodhi Sea. Sept., 1970, pp. 23-26.

(opening address "Buddha's Birthday Celebration" San Francisco, CA, May 10, 1970) Vajra Bodhi Sea, July, 1970, pp. 15-16.

(translator) "The Professor Requests a Lecture from the Monk in the Grave." (Lecture given by the Venerable Master Hua at the University of California, Berkeley) Vajra Bodhi Sea, July, 1970, pp. 8-12.

Rev. 2013