John Cha


Associate Professor in Religion and Japanese Studies

Cha's teaching and research interests include Buddhist philosophy, Indian intellectual history, comparative philosophy, and inter-religious dialogue (primarily Buddhist/Christian dialogue).

Cha has recently presented the following papers: "Buddhist Intellectual History at the Crossroads of Theory" at the The International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities; "Reflecting Reality: Critical and Foundational Aspects of Indian Yogācāra Epistemology" at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting; "Causality and Its Cessation: The Process of Purification in Classical Indian Yogācāra Thought" at the 2nd Annual conference of the International Society for Buddhist Philosophy (ISBP); "The Problem of Identity and Difference in Indian Yogācāra Conceptions of Reality: Emptiness According to the Madhyanta-vibhaga and its Indic Commentaries" at the 1st Annual conference of the ISBP.

Cha's most recent publication is "Language Conceptualization and Awakening: On the Paradox of Discourse in Classical Indian Yogācāra", Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory, Vol 2 No. 3, 2001. At Gustavus since 1997.


B.A., Quincy College, 1986; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern, 1992, 1997

Courses Taught

JPN-399 (Senior Thesis), REL-115 (World Religions), and REL-355 (Buddhist Philosophy)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
REL-115 World Religions 35 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, 2011/SP, 2010/FA, 2010/SP, 2009/FA, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/FA, 2007/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, 2000/SP, 1999/FA, and 1999/SP
REL-235 Zen and Japanese Culture 17 2022/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2008/FA, 2007/SP, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, and 1999/FA
REL-355 Buddhist Philosophy 17 2021/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2007/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/SP, and 2002/SP
FTS-100 FTS:Interfaith Relatns 9 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, 2012/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2001/FA, and 2000/FA
JPN-399 Senior Thesis 8 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, and 2015/FA
REL-344 Yogic Philosophy in India 8 2022/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2013/FA, 2012/SP, 2009/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
CUR-399 Senior Seminar 7 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2020/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
REL-244 ST:The Unseen God(s) 7 2022/JN, 2019/FA, 2015/FA, 2011/FA, 2008/SP, 2004/SP, and 2000/FA
NDL-200 Intercultural Issues 3 2006/SP, 2005/FA, and 2005/SP
REL-365 Hindu Philosophy 2 2020/SP and 2019/SP
REL-216 Buddhist Contemplation 2 2013/JN and 2009/JN
REL-125 Sanskrit I 2 2007/FA and 2003/FA
REL-117 Zen Martial Arts 1 2018/JN
PHI-344 ST:Hindu Philosophy 1 2016/SP
IDS-140 Martial Arts Phil/Prac 1 2012/JN
REL-135 Sanskrit II 1 2008/SP
REL-200 Indian Philosophy 1 2008/JN
IDS-243 Environment, Ecology, and Livelihood 1 2004/FA
IDS-246 Global Development 1 2004/FA
IDS-245 India Religion, Culture, and Society 1 2004/FA
IDS-247 Liberation Movements 1 2004/FA
REL-137 Sanskrit Language 1 2003/JN
REL-245 Mahayana Buddhism 1 2002/JN
REL-116 Japanese Shingon Buddhism 1 2000/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.