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Stephen T. Asma

Born: N/A
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Asma resides in Chicago and is a Philosophy Professor at Columbia University in Chicago.

Biography: Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar. He is also a jazz musician and a popular guest on Chicago area NPR programs.In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. There he taught 'Buddhist Philosophy' as part of their Graduate Program in Buddhist Studies. His book, entitled The ''Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment in the Land of the Tattered Buddha'' explores the Theravada Buddhism of the region. He has also traveled and studied in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Mainland China - eventually living in Shanghai China in 2005.Asma is the author of several books: ''Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums'', ''Following Form and Function'' and Buddha for Beginners. He has written many articles on a broad range of topics that bridge the humanities and sciences, including 'Against Transcendentalism' in the book ''Monty Python and Philosophy'' and 'Dinosaurs on the Ark: Natural History and the New Creation Museum' in ''The Chronicle of Higher Education''. He has also written for the ''Chicago Tribune'', ''In These Times'' magazine, the ''Skeptical Inquirer'', the ''Chronicle Review'', ''Skeptic'' magazine, and Chicago Public Radio's news-magazine show ''Eight-Forty-Eight''.


Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Stephen T. Asma on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Buddha for beginners
ISBN: 9781939994332 OCLC: 912402742

An illustrated, graphic-novel-style primer on the teachings of Buddha. With a biting sense of humor and an ability to speak to the general reader, the author presents a funny, accurate, and credible romp through the life of Buddha--Provided by publisher.

  Buddha for beginners /
ISBN: 1571745955 OCLC: 221159549

Hampton Roads Pub. Co., Charlottesville, Va. : ©2008.

"An illustrated, graphic-novel-style primer on the teachings of Buddha. With a biting sense of humor and an ability to speak to the general reader, the author presents a funny, accurate, and credible romp through the life of Buddha"--Provided by publisher.

Following form and function :
ISBN: 0810113988 OCLC: 35184018

Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill. : ©1996.

The concepts of form and function have traditionally been defined in terms of biology and then extended to other disciplines. Stephen T. Asma examines the various interpretations of form and function in science and philosophy, reflecting on the philosophical presuppositions underlying the work of Geoffroy, Cuvier, and Darwin, among others. In the Continental tradition of Canguilhem and Foucault, Asma's treatment of the historical form/function dispute analyzes the complex interactions among ideologies, metaphysical commitments, and research programs. This is a highly significant contribution to the history of science, the history of philosophy, and disputes within contemporary biology.

On monsters :
ISBN: 019533616X OCLC: 711101516

Oxford University Press, Oxford ; 2009.

"Monsters. Real or imagined, literal or metaphorical, they have exerted a dread fascination on the human mind for many centuries. They attract and repel us, intrigue and terrify us, and in the process reveal something deeply important about the darker recesses of our collective psyche. Stephen Asma's On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters--how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future. Asma begins with a letter from Alexander the Great in 326 B.C. detailing an encounter in India with an 'enormous beast--larger than an elephant with three ominous horns on its forehead.' From there the monsters come fast and furious--Behemoth and Leviathan, Gog and Magog, the leopard-bear-lion beast of Revelation, Satan and his demons, Grendel and Frankenstein, circus freaks and headless children, right up to the serial killers and terrorists of today and the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow. Monsters embody our deepest anxieties and vulnerabilities, Asma argues, but they also symbolize the mysterious and incoherent territory just beyond the safe enclosures of rational thought. Exploring philosophical treatises, theological tracts, newspapers, pamphlets, films, scientific notebooks, and novels, Asma unpacks traditional monster stories for the clues they offer about the inner logic of an era's fears and fascinations. In doing so, he illuminates the many ways monsters have become repositories for those human qualities that must be repudiated, externalized, and defeated. Asma suggests that how we handle monsters reflects how we handle uncertainty, ambiguity, insecurity. And in a world that is daily becoming less secure and more ambiguous, he shows how we might learn to better live with monsters--and thereby avoid becoming one."--Publisher's website.

Stuffed animals & pickled heads :
ISBN: 0195163362 OCLC: 44128187

Oxford University Press, Oxford ; 2001.

"The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes - where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on is these great institutions than just smart fun."

The gods drink whiskey :
ISBN: 0060834501 OCLC: 70110345

HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco : 2006, ©2005.

"In this journey through Cambodia and Southeast Asia, intrepid traveler and scholar Stephen T. Asma explores and explains the basics of Buddhism." "After the Vietnam War, the communist Khmer Rouge outlawed the practice of Buddhism in Cambodia. To enforce their decree they burned temples and jailed monks. Twenty years later, the newly reopened Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh invites the young American professor Stephen Asma to come teach Buddhism to its students to help resurrect the ancient religion after years of suppression."

Why I am a Buddhist
ISBN: 9781907486579 OCLC: 751535449

Watkins, London : 2011.

  Why I am a Buddhist /
ISBN: 157174617X OCLC: 320196506

Hampton Roads Pub. Co., Charlottesville, VA : 2010.

"Stephen T. Asma, PhD, professor of philosophy argues his case for Buddhism"--Provided by publisher.