Luke Thompson received his PhD from Columbia University in 2017 and his MA (in Buddhist Studies) from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2008. While his academic research focused on medieval Japanese Buddhist intellectual history, he is interested in Buddhism beyond Japan, and has lived or spent extended periods in Buddhist monasteries in Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, northern India, England, and the US. He currently teaches Buddhist Studies courses in NY State prisons as a faculty member of the Bard Prison Initiative. He also tutors in Classical Japanese, is a practicing, licensed massage therapist, and in 2021 will begin training as a psychotherapist.
Luke Thompson's research focuses on medieval Japanese Buddhist intellectual history, though he has interests in Buddhism beyond Japan, and particularly in anthropological approaches to Buddhism.