Areas of expertise
I hold a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in the History of Religion from Columbia University (2006) with a focus in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. I was a Fulbright scholar in India, and I also have a background in qualitative and quantitative research from my time as Senior Research Analyst in the IT industry of Silicon Valley. I am currently the editor of Studia Orientalia Electronica, the peer-reviewed online journal of Studia Orientalia, the publication series of the Finnish Oriental Society established in 1917. My multidisciplinary research interests include questions of identity and meaning-making, and the integration of spiritual themes in popular culture. My focus on shifting contemporary ideologies (both religious and secular) is framed in terms of North American Studies.
My dissertation focused on the doxographical work of the 14th-century Tibetan scholar and yogi Longchen Rabjam, also known as “the Omniscient One.”
Forthcoming is a monograph titled Spi-Fi: Spiritual Fiction in Comics, which examines the significance of stories and art for identity construction and personal transformation; supported by the Kone Foundation, this research project was inspired by my involvement as one of the creators of the graphic novel Mandala (Portland, OR: Dark Horse Comics, 2014).
Most recently, I co-edited a special journal issue on the popularizing of politics in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. I am currently engaged in research at the John Morton Center at the University of Turku on an Academy of Finland research project, "Campus Carry."