Faculty & Staff

Sid Brown

Professor of Religious Studies, Chair of Religious Studies
B.A., Emory University; M.A., Florida State University; Ph.D., University of Virginia


Sid Brown teaches in the area of Asian Religions, specializing in Theravada Buddhism. Brown also focuses on religious responses to environmental issues and religious conceptions of relationships between human and other-than-human animals.

Sid Brown has been studying Buddhism since 1982. During her years earning her B.A. in philosophy and her M.A. and Ph.D. in religious studies, she researched and lived in India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Thailand.

Her first book, The Journey of One Buddhist Nun explores the life story and meditation experiences of a modern Buddhist nun in Thailand and is used at universities such as Harvard, Amherst, Hampshire, the University of Virginia, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  In the next two years, SUNY Press will release an updated edition of the book.

Her second book, A Buddhist in the Classroom, explores ethical quandaries, lived experiences, and the intimacy of teaching. Using Buddhist perspectives, practices, stories, and philosophy, she demonstrates how this centuries-old tradition can inform and enrich everyday classroom life.  Topics include attention, community, rage, wonder, consumerism, and simple kindness.

A biographical essay on a Thai Buddhist nun for a book contracted with Blackwell Publishing, Understanding Buddhism through Biographies of Buddhists,  Ed., Todd Lewis. will soon be published, and Dr. Brown is currently working on a book on Buddhism and animals, tentatively titled A Buddhist Ponders Animals.

Awards include:

Nomination for American Academy of Religion's Excellence in Teaching Award 2012

Associated Colleges of the South grant (financed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation under their Faculty Advancement Program) with Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster, Southwestern University, to create and implement an Interdisciplinary ACS Faculty Workshop:  Teaching the Animal 2012

Sewanee Teacher of the Year 2009, Sewanee Society of Scholars.