Martin Adam

Martin Adam
Associate Professor
Religion, Culture, and Society Program/Pacific and Asian Studies
Office: CLE C231
Area of expertise

Buddhist Philosophy; Indian Religions; Philosophy of Religion; Mysticism; Meditation Theory; Buddhist Ethics; Gandhi; Engaged Buddhism and Civil Disobedience


PhD, McGill University (Faculty of Religious Studies)

MA, University of Waterloo (Department of Philosophy)

BA, University of Calgary (Double Major: Philosophy/Eastern Religions)

Research Interests
  • Buddhist Philosophy, Consciousness, and AI
  • Free will and personhood in Indian Buddhism
  • Buddhist Ethics
  • Buddhism and Theatre
  • Buddhism and Climate Activism
  • Mystical Experience and Epistemology
  • Buddhist Meditation Theory and Practice

My work is centered on Indian Buddhism and Buddhist Ethics, with more general interests in other south Asian religious traditions and western Philosophy. I received my PhD from McGill University in 2003, having spent extended stays at institutions in India, Nepal, and Switzerland. My teaching duties lie principally within the Religion, Culture, and Society Program, with many courses cross-listed to Pacific and Asian Studies.

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

  • Buddhism and the Future - Transhumanism and Posthumanism. Eds. Martin T. Adam and Michael Berman. Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies (Vol. 18, 2023).
  • Indian Buddhist Metaethics: Panel Proceedings from the Meeting of the IABS, Atlanta, 2008. Ed. Martin T. Adam. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 2010. (2011) Vol: 33.

Articles, Book Chapters, and Creative Works

  • What the Buddha Never Taught: A Rock Opera. 92-page stage-play manuscript completed 2022. Submitted for review.
  • "Artistic and Ethical Considerations Arising in Writing a Buddhist Musical" in Buddhism, Creativity, and Art. Panel Proceedings from the 2023 meeting held at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Kathmandu: LIRI Publishing.
  • "Buddhist Theories of Mind and Artificial Consciousness" (with Charles Goodman, Jenny Hung and Francesco Tormen). In Buddhist Perspectives on Consciousness, Evolution, and AI. Italian Buddhist Union Research Centre, 2024
  • "Buddhist Ethical Considerations on Machine Intelligence, Virtue, and Character" (with Charles Goodman and James Hughes). In Buddhist Perspectives on Consciousness, Evolution, and AI. IBU Research Centre, 2024
Selected Courses

RCS 200B/ PAAS 204 Introduction to Asian Religions

RCS 305:  Magic, Mysticism, and the Occult

RCS 307: Religion and The Environment

RCS 311 / PAAS 311 Gandhi and the Ethics of Non-violence

RCS 363 / PAAS 363 Buddhism

RCS 401:  Selected Topics: Buddhist Meditation; Death and the Afterlife; Buddhist Ethics; Indian Philosophy and Religion

RCS 490/ PAAS 493:  Reading Seminar in Buddhism: Dīgha Nikāya; Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamikakārikā.