About the Director
Dr. Steven Heine
Professor of Religious Studies and History & Director of Asian Studies
Dr. Steven Heine is Professor of Religion 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, 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 AAR and AAS. He has conducted research on East Asian religion and society primarily at Tokyo University and Komazawa University in Tokyo. Heine has lectured at these institutions in addition to Brown, Cambridge Columbia, Emory, Florida, Free University, Harvard, Hawaii, London, North Carolina, McGill, Ohio State, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Stanford, Oslo, UCLA, Yale and others. He was chair of the national Japanese Religions Group (1994-2000) and is editor of Japan Studies Review and a book review editor for Japan for Philosophy East and West published by the University of Hawaii Press.
Dr. Heine’s research specialty is medieval East Asian religious studies, especially the transition of Zen Buddhism from China to Japan. He has published over twenty books, including The Kōan: Meaning and Metaphor (University of Hawai'i Press, forthcoming); Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism (Oxford); Dōgen and Sōtō Zen: New Perspectives (Oxford, forthcoming) Dōgen: Textual and Historical Studies (Oxford); Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Sacred Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods (Oxford); 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 (University of Hawaii Press); The Zen Poetry of Dōgen: Verses From the Mountain of Eternal Peace (Dharma Communications); Dōgen and the Kōan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shōbōgenzō Texts (State University of New York Press); Existential and Ontological Dimensions of Time in Heidegger and Dōgen(SUNY); and 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 by the Harvard Business School, USA Today, and the Washington Post.
Dr. Heine has received numerous grants and overseen nearly $2 million in external funding from U.S. Department of Education, the Japan Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Education Title VI office for “Asian Globalization and Latin America Project,” and the “South Florida Consortium for Asian Arts and Culture,” among others. He has directed the “JapaNet” teacher training project funded by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and directs a branch of the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia. Heine has received grant funding that helped to create five full-time faculty positions, including three in Asian languages, resulting in a vigorous program at FIU.
Nine-turn bridge at Jiaschan Temple in Hunan Province, China visited by Dr. Heine in Summer 2015
He is a recipient of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Award for a lifetime of achievement in service to the exchanges between Japan and America and contributing to the benefit of Japan-U.S. relations (Spring 2004), 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 spring 2009, Dr. Heine was appointed Associate Director of the School of International and Public Affairs, an assignment he performs along with his responsibilities as Director of Asian Studies.
In 2010, Dr. Heine completed his second two-term stint as a unit chair of the American Academy of Religion, including the chair of the Japanese Religions Group (1994-2000) and the founding co-chair of the Sacred Space in Asia Group (2004-2010).
In 2011, he gave a number of lectures at national and international venues, including several lectures in March at McGill University in connection with the Montreal Zen poetry festival, a panel he organized on sacred sites in Tokyo at the Association for Asian Studies, the Harshbarger Lecture at Penn State, and at a memorial conference for the late William LaFleur at the Univerity of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the inception of FIU as the main site of the National Consortium of Teaching About Asia (NCTA) in Florida, and a continuing rise in Asian Studies graduate and undergraduate enrollments and graduation rates.
In fall 2011, the current issue of the Religious Studies Review was dedicated to Dr. Heine's work with two essays by him and one review article about him.
Since joining Florida International University in 1997, Heine has created and developed the Asian Studies Program as one of the fastest growing interdisciplinary program in the southeastern region of the United States. From 2009-2012, Heine served as the founding Associate Director of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Florida International University (FIU), where he created and implemented the Master of Arts in Global Governance (MAGG) Program, oversaw various programs and centers in SIPA, and created the SIPA InteRegional Initiative.
Currently, the Asian Studies Program at FIU offers a Bachelors in Arts in Asian Studies and Master of Arts in Asian Studies as well as an Asian Studies minor. The Asian Studies Program also offers two graduate certiciates in Asian Studies and Asian Globalization as well as several undergraduate certiciates programs in Asian Studies, Asian Globalization and Latin American Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies and South and Southeast Asian Area Studies. A new interdisciplinary major in Japanese Area Studies, which is a branch of the Asian Studies B.A. degree, will be offered beginning in Fall 2013.
Dr. Steven Heine (left) with Mr. Ogino (right),
Consulate General of Japan in Miami