Director: Steven Heine

Professor of Religious Studies and History & Director of Asian Studies


Florida International University
Phone: 305-348-1788
Curriculum Vitae
Article in SIPA News in honor of Dr. Heine's 45 years of scholarship
Issue in Religious Studies Review dedicated to Dr. Heine's work
Issue on Zen Buddhism in Frontiers of History in China edited by Dr. Heine

                                                         Director's Page



Dr. Steven Heine is Professor of Religious Studies and History as well as Director of Asian Studies at Florida International University. He specializes in East Asian and comparative religions, Japanese Buddhism and intellectual history, Buddhist studies, and religion and social sciences. Dr. Heine earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and M.A. and Ph.D. at Temple University. Before coming to FIU in 1997, he taught at Pennsylvania State University and directed the East Asian Studies center there. Professor Heine teaches a variety of courses including Modern Asia and Methods in Asian Studies at graduate and undergraduate levels as well as Japanese culture and religion, Zen Buddhism, Ghosts, spirits and folk religions, religions of the Silk Road, and other aspects of Asian society.

Dr. Heine was a Fulbright Senior Researcher in Japan and twice won National Endowment for Humanities Fellowships plus funding from the American Academy of Religion and Association for Asian Studies, in addition to the US Department of Education, the Japan Foundation, and the Freeman Foundation. He has conducted research on Zen Buddhism in relation to medieval and modern society primarily at Komazawa University in Tokyo. Dr. Heine has also lectured at other institutions such as Brown, Cambridge, Columbia, Emory, Florida, Free University, Harvard, Hawaii, Iowa, London, North Carolina, McGill, Ohio State, Oslo, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Stanford, UCLA, Yale, Zurich, and in many other conferences and institutions. He was chair of the national Japanese Religions Group and the Sacred Space in Asia Group, and he is editor of Japan Studies Review and a former book review editor for Japan for Philosophy Eastand West published by the University of Hawaii Press.

Nine-turn bridge of Jiashan Temple

Left image: Nine-turn bridge of Jiashan Temple in Hunan Province, China, where Dr. Heine visited for research in 2015.

Dr. Heine’s research specialty is medieval East Asian religious studies, especially the transition of Zen Buddhism from China to Japan. In addition to 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and outstanding edited volumes, he has published thirty-five books, both monographs and edited volumes. Over a dozen of his books have been reviewed or noted in such publications as CHOICE, Chronicle of Higher Education, Booklist, Library Journal, or Times Literary Supplement, in addition to multiple reviews in various academic journals or professional outlets.

The most recent books include From Chinese Chan to Japanese Zen: A Remarkable Century of Transmission and Transformation (Oxford); Zen and Material Culture (Oxford); Chan Rhetoric of Uncertainty in the Blue Cliff Record: Sharpening the Sword at the Dragon's Gate (Oxford); Zen Koans (Hawaii); Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism (Oxford); Dōgen and Sōtō Zen: New Perspectives (Oxford); Dōgen: Textual and Historical Studies (Oxford); and Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Sacred Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods (Oxford). Three books are forthcoming in 2020: Readings of Dōgen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Columbia); Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree: Giun’s Verse Comments on Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō (Oxford); Creating the World of Chan/ Sǒn /Zen: Chinese Chan Buddhism and its spread throughout East Asia.

Other books include Zen Skin, Zen Marrow: Will the Real Zen Buddhism Please Stand Up? (Oxford); Did Dōgen Go to China? What He Wrote and When He Wrote It (Oxford); Opening a Mountain: Kōans of Zen Masters (Oxford); Shifting Shape, Shaping Text: Philosophy and Folklore in the Fox Kōan (Hawaii); The Zen Poetry of Dōgen: Verses From the Mountain of Eternal Peace (Tuttle); Dōgen and the Kōan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shōbōgenzō Texts (SUNY); Existential and Ontological Dimensions of Time in Heidegger and Dōgen (SUNY); The Zen Canon: Studies of Classic Zen Texts (Oxford); . His book White Collar Zen: Using Zen Principles to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Your Career Goals (Oxford) was reviewed by the Harvard Business School, USA Today, and the Washington Post. For more detailed information on his books, please see here.

Dr. Heine has received numerous grants and overseen over $3 million in external funding from prestigious agencies that have helped build the Asian Studies Program at FIU with nearly 150 majors, several hundred minors, and an MA degree that averages eight graduations per year. The grants have seeded six full-time faculty positions, including three in Asian languages, resulting in a vigorous program at FIU with student demand resulting in fifteen faculty in all.

Left image: Dr. Steven Heine (left) with the Honorable Masahiro Ogino (right), Consul General of Japan in Miami (2015).

In addition, Heine is a recipient of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Award (2004) for a lifetime of achievement in service to the exchanges between Japan and America and for contributing to the benefit of Japan-U.S. relations, the only non-Japanese or Japanese-American among the recipients of the award in the Florida state district. In 2006, Steven Heine was awarded the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Professors Award in the FIU’s Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center housed in the College of Business Administration that will lead to research and a seminar on Asian cultural values in business.

On April 29, 2007 the Government of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette to Steven Heine. This award is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the study of Japanese culture and the promotion of understanding of Japan.

In Fall 2007, FIU featured Dr. Heine as one of a small handful of faculty included in a Miami Herald campaign regarding University excellence.

In recent years, Heine has lectured or given workshops at the Japan Society in New York, the San Francisco Zen Center, the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, and the European Center of Zen in Paris. In addition, he has presented talks at Arizona, Chicago, Florida Atlantic University, Oxford, Penn State, Rutgers, SOAS, and Waseda. In Fall 2015, he offered a block-seminar on the Life and Thought of Dōgen at the University of Zurich. In 2020, he will lead a seminar on Dōgen in Berlin.

Left image: Dr. Heine during a research trip to China in 2015.

Currently, the Asian Studies Program at FIU offers a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, Master of Arts in Asian Studies, and an Asian Studies minor. The Asian Studies Program also offers three graduate certificates in Asian Studies and Asian Globalization, as well as several undergraduate certificate programs in Asian Studies, Asian Globalization and Latin American Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, and South and Southeast Asian Area Studies. There are also two interdisciplinary majors, Japanese Area Studies and Chinese Area Studies, offered as branches of the Asian Studies B.A. degree.